Modernization is more than new sports teams and convention centers. It’s the creation of an open-minded attitude, a stance that promotes a high quality of life where opportunities are available for all citizens to contribute what they can to the city and be respected, accepted, with equal opportunities to air their thoughts, without being marginalized.
Mayor Cornett has the difficult task of wresting breathing space for reasonable people and policies from the stranglehold of the dogmatic religious ideologues who threaten such modernization. The state Legislature and many other city- and state-elected seats are filled with people who believe only their views matter and they have no need to consider that any other view has a right to be respectfully considered.
Rule one: They are “right.” If you don’t agree, see rule one. Or, as we often see it written in letters to the editor; “If you don’t like it here, leave!” Such rigidity of thought threatens to choke the state of Oklahoma, and Oklahoma City with it, by installing an ever-tightening vise grip of anti-modern policies, like: creationism/anti-evolution, anti-sex education, installing church members into as many state positions as possible, anti-equality policies, anti-arts funding, anti-beer/ wine in grocery stores, anti-immigrant and basically anti-anything that isn’t their idea of what “God” says (read that as what they personally think).
These extremists are quite happy to treat everyone who disagrees with them — including the federal government — as second-class citizens. This was baldly illustrated by the Feb. 2 Gazette article titled “Citty under siege” by Clifton Adcock, where a clergyman calls for the chief of police’s resignation simply because the chief spoke his mind and the contents of the chief’s mind happened to not fall in lockstep with the clergyman’s opinion.
No wonder the rest of the U.S. laughs at us and it’s so hard to keep intelligent, educated people in this state or to attract businesses that need an intelligent, educated work force. There’s only breathing room for the one narrowminded view. That cuts off oxygen to the brain — the citizenry; so kudos to Mayor Cornett if he can get the rest of us some breathable air.