Sunday, September 8, 2019

Briley shoots himself in the foot with opposition to a high school relocation to Bellevue

by Rod Williams - I am going to go out on a limb and make a prediction, (well not much of a limb, after all Cooper beat Briley in the general election by a ten points). I predict that John Cooper will be our next mayor.

Cooper will win for several reasons, but one of them is the Briley keeps shooting himself in the foot.  It was really stupid to alienate the Bellevue community by taking away their promised high school.  It was also stupid to further alienate the school board by suggesting that his judgement trumps that of a decision that has been long in the making.  I don't know if Briley miscalculates the impact of his decisions or is just such a committed "woke" progressive that he cannot help himself.

I grant that the Nashville electorate is progressive.  With newer transplants, we have become more progressive by the day.  Equity is a progressive tenet. Progressive may even favor equity over property rights, or freedom of association, or merit-based college admissions, or merit-based anything.

However, I do not think even most progressives are going to jump to the conclusion that stopping the building of a long-planned Bellevue high School is a bold stoke for equity. Also, something I have observed; even very liberal parents are not willing to use there kids as cannon fodder in the fight for immigration or "equity."  Even liberal parents fight like hell to get their kids in a magnet school or relocate to be in a better school district or sacrifice to send their child to private school. While they may mouth liberal platitudes, they want what is best for their child.

Even people who don't live in the Bellevue area, if they observe at all, will sympathize with the Bellevue community.  People have conflicting values. While they may believe in equity, they also favor community and fairness and aspirations of fellow parents.  Briley not only created opponents with Bellevue residents and people who will sympathize with Bellevue residents and Bellevue parents, but he created more animosity with the school board.  School board members who had been keeping a low profile in the mayors race are now openly criticizing the mayor.
On this issue and the fight to make Nashville a sanctuary city and other issues, Briley has chased the progressive vote or taking positions that placed him solidly in the progressive camp.  If you look at the results of the general election, John Ray Clemmons ran to the left of Briley but he only garnered 15% of the vote. Carol Swain who ran as an avowed conservative captured 22% of the vote.  There are a lot more votes to the right of Briley than to the left. I doubt Briley picked up any votes due to the position he took on relocating the Hillwood school, but I bet he lost some votes.  This was unnecessary. He could have mouthed general platitudes about favoring equity without getting specific. I am glad he did, but wonder what he was thinking. Maybe, he wasn't thinking but is just so progressive, he can't moderate himself. 

If Cooper will not do anything dumb and not alienate any group of voters between now and the election, I think he has it in the bag.  We are watching Briely self destruct. 

For more on this issue see the  below articles:
Elected leaders push back after Mayor David Briley suggests pause on new Hillwood High in ...

But the district has many empty seats at schools in northwest and North ... Hurt and Sheri Weiner, school board member Amy Frogge and state Rep.

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