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.


Posted on August 10, 2012, in Issues and views, Paul Smith and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. •“It’s not a homosexual slur at all, it’s an attack on Nancy Pelosi, and that’s a big difference!” Really????? I’m dumbfounded!

    • This is the sort of defense you have to offer up if what you’ve done is indefensible. Mr. Smith has also said it was an “abbreviation” for the 12-letter (SIC) politically correct term. I say it’s BS.

  2. The man just doesn’t seem to get it. He seems totally incapable of understanding how offensive he has been.

    A few of the speakers at this weeks meeting attempted to defend him. One said “how dare you accuse him of being a racist and a homophobe”. Well… that’s easy… he was standing there with a sign referring to ‘wetbacks’ and ‘fags’.

    We’re not talking about a youth whose mouth has outpaced his brain; a youthful rant made before a person reaches an age where they understand the power of words and their consequences. We’re talking about a 60+ year old man who should know better. And the fact that he DOESN’T know better is the real problem here.

    I’m all for free speech. And I’m all for opposing some of the policies of the President and the congress.

    But to attack entire classes of people, to claim that it was all in good fun, and to profess beliefs that are prejudicial to entire sections of your constituency is entirely unacceptable.

  3. Free Speech comes with Responsibility. He can be free to speak his mind just as we are free to form an opinion of him based on what he has stated. I watched the city council meeting I thought it was interesting that he thought compromising was caving in to opposing ideas or people. I wonder if he realizes in a compromise both sides win something. It seems to be common with tea party people the refusal to compromise and to be the loudest blowhard.

    • The tea party is about fiscal responsibility and a small government limited in its power by the constitution. Haters of those basic fundamental ideas try to paint it as something it’s not.

      • Actually, it started out as being those things, Kevin, and it morphed over time into one of the most dangerous, irresponsible political movements of recent memory, as exemplified by Mr. Smith.

        I concur: small government, limited in power by the Constitution and managed responsibly is the way to go. The Tea Party, on the other hand, has drifted away from those ideals.

      • Mr. Smith doesn’t represent or speak for the tea party. From day one, the liberal media and those threatened by the idea of small limited government have made it about name calling and stereotyping instead of discussing the actual important issues at hand. It’s very unfortunate that Mr. Smith has acted to make himself a distraction instead of the real issues facing Sterling Heights like promoting business and getting good paying jobs back.

  4. Mr. Smith exercised his right to freedom of speech. Over the years the courts have thankfully left this individual right intact. Along with such an uninhibited individual right comes enormous individual responsibility to not abuse such a right.

    Mr. Smith abused his right to freedom of speech spreading his disgusting message of violence, hate, and bigotry. This message is grossly outside the opinion of the vast majority of society. As an elected official, he is expected to mirror the feelings and opinions of his constituents and I do not believe he does. He has made no effort to apologize or recant his bigoted rantings and continues to attempt to justify them. Therefore, I am asking for him to quietly resign from office.

  5. The Smith situation has been referred to the Michigan Attorney general for possible removal under section 168.327 of Michigan act 116.

    I doubt if they’ll do anything, but it’s a step in the right direction.

  6. The state will not remove Mr.Smith.The city will have to fund a costly and long recall.The voters will decide if Mr.Smith gets a second term.

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