The Russians Are Coming to Delmarva!
We’ve put another idiot in a position of power in Delmar. A couple of years ago, some developers and other “business people” got together and bought the town council for some absolute morons to play with. I mentioned replacing the competent Black woman with the white, white-collar criminal and alluded to having the police help a Christian hate group skirt the law, but the general contempt they have for the town and the people who are just trying to live here is too depressing to watch closely.
I read a faux-think piece back before the turn of the century that tied George Bush’s election to Ben Stiller’s popularity. The point being that we don’t want leaders who are smarter or better any more than we want leading men who are much more competent than us in real life. The claim was that we want to leave the polls (and the movie theaters) feeling superior.
I don’t know if I agree, but I always have that notion rattling around in the back of my head. I’ve always preferred to be around people who are smarter than me than not. I’m loud and clever but my friends are interesting and knowledgeable. It’s tough to imagine wanting it otherwise, being so insecure that you seek out your inferiors. It’s baffling how deeply that attitude has settled into electoral politics.
It is a near certainty that you, reading this now, are both intellectually and morally superior to whatever rat-faced imbecile you and your neighbors elected. It’s just something we’ve become comfortable with. It’s why I’ve just resorted to name calling, because I know at some level it hurts.
In addition to honest coverage in the local news, I also wrote some hit-piece-type stories on Medium during the last election. I have to be clear before I go any further: I don’t believe there is anything more pathetic than being a wannabe kingmaker in a town of 5,000 people where fewer than 200 turn out to vote. How cartoonish is it that the “Delmar business community” sinks thousands of dollars into a local election? I guess that’s why they’re minor players in a pissant berg.
The person who claims to speak for the “Delmar business community” is a developer named Marshall. I keep wanting to say, “Gary” but that’s not right. I’ll look it up in a second. When I published a short thing called, “Driven by opportunism and backed by cowards, three men are desperate to be the only voice in Delmar,” Marshall called me to tell me that the people who bought the town council for three mouth-breathers weren’t cowards, but rather concerned business people.
They used a stolen photo of a town cop in a lie-riddled anonymous mailer and none of them would own up to it. They used outrage around a policeman’s murder to make the political climate “more business-friendly,” but they weren’t cowards and opportunists. I asked Marshall if he was one of these thieves and cowards and he declined to answer. Instead, he offered insider dirt on another local politician he didn’t like.
Marshall wants to build AirBNB trailers. He’s obsessed with making Delmar even more low-rent, perhaps. At the first council meeting, he showed up to inform the cretins for whom the “Delmar business community” had purchased of his plans. I’ve been covering boards like this for the better part of this century. I have never seen anyone skip planning and zoning and go straight to the mayor and council to let them know they were putting a proposal in the pipeline.
It was the equivalent of putting his dick on the dais, and these “men” thanked him for it.
That’s when I checked out. The fact is, my neighbors don’t really care. When we end up with poisoned water, or when they finally manage to kill the deal that allows Maryland kids to go to the Delaware high school and Delaware kids to go to the Maryland grammar school, (the creatively named Delmar is in both states) they’ll probably get mad. Maybe.
There will be meetings and forums, people will do poor impressions of the speeches they’ve seen in melodramas and then someone will say it will make taxes higher and that will be the end of the moral positioning.
I got a note a day or so ago asking me to look into the latest purchase of a political seat for a wanna-be developer, Shane Bowden. Here’s the link to it. Here’s his (recently cleaned-up) Facebook page. Here’s his “business website.”
I thought about calling him for an interview, but I have to be honest, I’m pretty much done covering Delmar. I interviewed the town council candidates and I think letting them demonstrate their embarrassing, pitiful ignorance helped them win.
I have never made a living wage as a reporter for an Eastern Shore newspaper, few people have. We’re all married to teachers or doctors or real estate agents or retail managers, or we freelance in our spare time. Or both.
Don’t get me wrong. I will keep pointing out cowardice and stupidity when I can, but only for my own satisfaction. If my neighbors don’t have the energy or the interest to protect their school system from being torn apart or their infrastructure from being overburdened by unchecked, unwise development, it’s kinda fine with me.
The board of ed election had a 10% turnout. My neighbors have spoken loud and clear: they’d rather feel morally and intellectually superior to their elected officials than have a functional government and school system. They’re junkies for it, and who am I to ruin their buzz?
But that’s just context.
Laurel, Delaware which is its own disaster of a school system and political dysfunction, is now also a breading ground for Russian hackers. It’s probably been a decade since Laurel started annexing county land so it could increase its revenue through enhanced speed traps. Also, eventually, they figured maybe someone would build something.
They haven’t endured the free-for-all that Delmar has, but the residents were all het-up about a proposed development a couple of years ago. Remember, they weren’t het-up enough to follow what was going on in their town, only het-up enough to be mad when something they didn’t like happened.
Zoning is boring on purpose. Go to a meeting and you’ll see. I’ve been to hundreds. It’s always me, the $24,000-per-year reporter, and six $240-per-hour lawyers. The board members are generally real estate agents, large land owners, etc. It’s exactly the same where you live, sorry if you’re just finding out now.
I wrote this story:
It caused something of a sensation at the time, but apathy and helplessness soon set in and the residents of Laurel went back to tracking medical helicopters (which is a hobby there for some reason).
Over the last week, though, I’ve been getting notifications about the post pretty much every day. It’s important to say that there’s not much of an Eastern European presence in Laurel, so when I saw so much Cyrillic in the names, I decided to take a look at the post.
(Side note: When I just went to get the link, I had this friend request. I’m, like, 90% sure this is an AI rendering).
Most of the 112 likes are Russian bots.
I don’t know if it is sadder that the Russians are targeting Laurel or that there’s no amount of misinformation that isn’t already part of the everyday conversation among the Laurel faithful.
Either way. I’m just going to focus on my pond until the inevitable machete attacks start.
Keep the Faith,