Paul Smith on WXYT-AM
Update: Smith given a pass by U.S. Secret Service
Paul Smith was a guest on WXYT-AM’s Charlie Langton show this morning commenting on his recent controversy.
Mr. Langton wished to discuss the matter as being primarily a free speech issue regarding Mr. Smith’s signs at the April, 2009 Tea Party rally. Here are a few interesting quotes from their discussion.
When queried repeatedly about Smith’s use of the word “fags” on the Nancy Pelosi sign, he had the following things to say:
- “I attacked a person, I attacked an elected official. I have not attacked the entire population of their supporters.”
- “It’s not a homosexual slur at all, it’s an attack on Nancy Pelosi, and that’s a big difference!”
- “Well if I put a 12-letter, politically correct statement on there it would’ve been fine print so nobody could read the thing. You know, when you’re doing a political cartoon or a headline, you’ve gotta abbreviate stuff.”
When questioned about his future effectiveness on council, Smith stated:
- “At least 5 of the 6 councilmen were 100% against me to begin with. They treat the city council as a private fraternity or a high school clique. I’m a despised outsider because I dared to run against an incumbent. I defeated an incumbent. They had four women and three men on the council. Now it’s the other way around, four men and three women. The women on council haven’t said a word to me the whole time. Essentially, I think if I moved to adjourn, we’d be there until midnight “
- “There is nothing to be lost…I was the Lone Ranger before and I’m still the Lone Ranger.”
- “The only effectiveness I ever had was the ability to discuss things that wouldn’t have been discussed at all before, and I’ve still got that.”
Speaking on what he would do if he had it to do all over, Smith stated:
- “I’m not apologizing or backing down for anything, but I think if I had it to do over again I wouldn’t have included Jennifer Granholm. I think she’s a nice girl, I would really like her, she’s not really good at handling money, but she was a good person. But at the time she was really sending us into bankruptcy. But I think I would really personally like the girl.”
Mr. Smith: you are certainly entitled to your opinions and your right to free speech. But “fags” is not the only “abbreviation” for the word homosexual. You could have said “gays” and used the same number of letters. And you certainly are “discussing things that would not have been discussed at all before,” but if you think that makes you an effective member of council, you are seriously deluding yourself.
As the media is wont to do, they have narrowed down the public’s objections to Mr. Smith’s continued service on council to a few words on signs from 2009. Certainly his lack of restraint back then is still an issue today, but those signs are hardly the predominant issue in my mind. Mr. Smith’s problems are mostly his stubborn refusal to perform the actual job of being a political leader without being insulting, arrogant and demanding to everyone who doesn’t agree with him or see things from his perspective. His complete and utter lack of respect for his office and the people who hold it along with him is palpable, and it adds up to a wasted seat on council.
If Mr. Smith thinks he is going to be able to advance an agenda, he is wrong. He doesn’t have to be accorded the right to speak his mind at every meeting; there are parliamentary procedures available to keep his speech to an absolute minimum, and that, I believe, is what will happen. As Mr. Taylor said, there is no Constitutional right granting Mr. Smith the ability to serve as a politician.
Smith has ruined his chances at making a difference. It’s a shame; he had much to offer.