Bucks County Herald

Charles Meredith:

The swamp and other things

Dear Friends,

Good morning. Before I get to “Draining the swamp,” which was one of President Trump’s rallying calls during the 2016 election, and why he may get more than he bargained for, here are several local items.

Bucks County Herald’s Cliff Lebowitz called our attention to Richland Township’s land preservation program which approved a 114-acre farm property easement. “The township authorized the use of $114,000 from its open space fund toward the purchase, noting deep appreciation for a 9 to 1 match from Bucks County,” Lebowitz wrote March 29.

“The property is surrounded by 150 acres of already preserved land and is located in a 450-acre greenway in the northeast portion of the township.”

Municipalities throughout Bucks County continue to take advantage of state and local land preservation.

Bravo! Speaking of land preservation, did you know that Haycock Township has about half of its lands in the public trust?

Another item is Robert Leight’s op-ed piece about gun control in the March 22 Herald. Bob believes that arming teachers with guns is a bad idea. I agree with him. The only solution to the number of gun assaults on school children is to change the gun culture, Bob writes. “I hope that the school students who have demonstrated against gun violence will remember their commitment when they become voting citizens and make a difference in the ballot box.”

I read that the Friends of the Delaware Canal will conduct a 5-mile hike on Sunday April 22. Starting at 2 p.m. at the Durham Lock parking area at 1407 Easton Road (Durham), nature photographer and birder Carole Mebus will lead the hike and share her experiences of photographing bald eagles, their young, and other birds.

You’ll need binoculars. Although the cliffs rise straight up 300 feet hikers will remain on the canal’s towpath. The hike will turn around at Lock 20 and return to the parking area where the hike begins.

Last week, I had a chat with one of Mighty Betsy’s caregivers. Alice Agnew is a bright lady who follows national and local politics. She wonders whether Donald Trump has a secret plan to ruin the Republican Party? To buy into her theory, you have to remember that Trump used to be a Democrat.

Second, the traditional GOP base has been led by industrialists, farmers and the military. If The Donald is able to alienate these spheres of influence, could the Republican Party implode? That’s a fascinating question.

Alice has spent most of her life in the Perkasie and Quakertown areas. Facetious or not, her conspiracy thoughts sparked my interest. The Donald continues to claim “no conspiracy” with the Russians. Does that mean that he believes the lies he tells each day?

Finally, Kathleen Parker writes for the Washington Post. Her March 23 piece spoke about the need for more women in the halls of Congress and the governor chairs across America. “Women have been pushing their way forward to reach parity with men,” Parker began. “Many of the original goals have been reached. Women now outnumber men in college, graduate schools and medical and law schools; three of the nine Supreme Court justices are female; and incremental, women are reaching the dubious objective of serving alongside men in combat roles.”

For example, when I was an undergraduate at Penn, there were no women in the Wharton School; no women in the engineering schools. Today, 61 years later, women make up more than 50 percent of the undergrad and graduate students.

Kathleen Parker’s column continued. “But one area where women remain under-represented is in state legislatures, governor’s offices and the U.S. Congress, the final frontiers for the battles that matter most. Thanks to a series of issues and comments underscoring President Trump’s apparent contempt for women who aren’t subservient to his appetites political or otherwise, the weaker sex is fighting back. At least 431 women are running or are likely to run for the House of Representatives this year (339 Democrats and 92 Republicans).Two years ago, the number was 212.

“If women can flip 23 seats from red [Republican] to blue [Democrat], Democrats can take back the House. The Republican-led Senate could also be in jeopardy. If Democrats can keep all 10 of their female senators in place and also win two seats, the Senate could turn blue.”

Will 2018 be the year of women in Congress? I hope so. Stay tuned.

Sincerely, Charles Meredith

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