All that is needed for the forces of evil to succeed is for enough good men to remain silent.
– Edmund Burke
I am afraid that the many citizens who champion our historic assets and want Newburyport to be a beacon to the Nation and the International Community need to come out of hiding to take a stand for our City’s future. I spoke recently with a representative from the National Trust for Historic Places and told him all the wonderful projects that are being pondered and on-going right here in town. I could see his ears tingling with all the potential that our Port City possesses. And yet, the general public knows nothing of what is going on and each group seems to not do much talking. He indicated that he was not aware of all the projects that were going on in the city, nor do those on the national level!
So, guess who is being bold? The Developers who’s only guide is their bottom line aren’t holding back. Every day I walk past another historic structure with priceless construction debris filled to overflowing in dumpsters. The Environmentalists aren’t holding back. In their zeal, many feel that historic structures are a nuisance that needs to be swept away for greater energy efficiency. And, the economy as it worsens will cause desperate, ill-informed homeowners to dispense the niceties and use the cheapest, fastest way to patch their homes.
And yet, historic preservationists have become non-confrontational, avoiding any action or movement that would invite criticism. Their timidity is a running joke with those who are involved in construction and development. They use silence as their weapon of choice; their absence, the tool of politics. What on earth are they so afraid of? Why do they not have a spine? Somewhere, perhaps in one of those mysterious smuggler tunnels, we may find them peering out with fearful eyes.
Come out! Come out! Where ever you are!
To avoid criticism do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.
– Elbert Hubbard