Class warfare can show up in the strangest places

Recently, the local newspaper, the San Jose Mercury News, published an article on efforts to open a local wilderness area, Mount Um, to the public.

In it, Representative Mike Honda – D, Campbell, is quoted as saying, “Why should only rich people have a view? It should be available to everybody.”

The problem with this statement, is that it’s simply untrue at best, and class warfare at the worst. The article spends the better part of 15 paragraphs detailing the bureaucratic infighting that has delayed clean up, and has been the real source of the inaction. The only mention within the article even remotely close to Representative Honda’s statement was mention of a nearby landowner, with whom a former land manager (read, government) had a “feud.” However, the article goes on to state that the family supports the efforts. Additionally, I am not sure what Representative Honda determines as “rich,” but owning 800 acres of land that cannot be farmed, logged, or otherwise used commercially, does not necessarily qualify one as rich.

I wrote the following in hope of being published in the “letters” section of the editorial page (note: I am limited to 125 words. The paper may take as many as it wishes for their point of view.).

“While I am in favor of the efforts to open Mount Um to the public, I am dismayed by Representative Honda’s attempt to turn this into a class warfare issue. The great majority of the impediment to opening the peak to view has to do with intergovernmental disputes on cleanup, as reported within this paper. Even the issue with respect to private ownership of nearby land seems to have been driven more by a personal rift than by anything else. Why, then, did Mister Honda feel it necessary to invoke “the rich,” as an impediment? I can only surmise he thinks this tactic will result in support in the next election. In my case, he is wrong, and I believe he owes the Congressional district he represents an apology.”

For whatever reasons it may have had, the Mercury News did not publish my letter (I have been published before) nor display it on their website. I can only surmise that they, too, don’t mind taking a crack at the “rich.”

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