By Paul Gable
I have long called election season the “silly season.” This year, the silly season appears to be starting early, at least with respect to the upcoming Conway mayoral election.
Conway Mayor Barbara Blaine-Bellamy was publicly criticized by a small group of people for issuing a Mayoral Proclamation to a local LGBTQ organization establishing June as Pride Month in Conway. Being criticized is part of being an elected official, but those who join the political discussion with their public criticisms also open themselves up to comment in the public domain.
I wrote an article about Blaine-Bellamy’s consistency in her approach to treating all people kindly, with respect and making them feel included not ostracized. That article elicited the following public comment by Drexel Drew on my Grand Strand Daily Facebook page:
“I’m very disappointed in Paul Gable! Shame on you. The Majority of the people in Conway do not hold her same twisted beliefs. Wonder how much you were paid to write this by her campaign.”
I wrote a second article commenting on Drew’s statement and his inconsistency in dealing with people and organizations who support what he calls “twisted beliefs”. Again, answering his question of how much I was paid to write the first article. Let me make it simple, I was paid nothing by anyone to write the first article, nothing to write the second and nothing to write this one.
David Hucks, in his MyrtleBeachsc.com blog, chose to attack me for the second article. That’s his right. He’s entitled to his opinion. I just wish he would have stayed close to what was discussed in the article rather than going off in directions of his own choosing.
From the top with the Hucks comments in quotation marks:
“Local journalist Paul Gable joined the bandwagon of those working to shame, or worse, shut down freedom of speech in Horry County and America.”
I never realized I was so powerful as to be able to work to “shut down freedom of speech in Horry County and America.” Nor have I tried.
It gets better, “Gable has now twice written articles espousing the Gay Pride Agenda of Myrtle Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune and CRAIG MCGEE (HE/HIM) Director of Myrtle Beach Pride.”
David, espouse means “to take up and support as a cause.” I have never written an article supporting the cause of Brenda Bethune’s Gay Pride Agenda, whatever that may be, and you are well aware that I haven’t. Freedom of speech and the press do not mean you can make up stuff out of whole cloth (that means trying to trick someone into believing what is not true) just because it fits into your narrative.
Then, “In his latest article Gable goes after a private resident who simply shared his beliefs on his own Facebook page. We searched and found no record of Drew ever running for public office.”
Not true and even the slightest bit of research would have shown Drew’s comment was on my Grand Strand Daily public Facebook page directly underneath the first article I published.
Drew’s never having run for public office has nothing to do with the fact that he posted a comment to a story I published on the Grand Strand Daily public Facebook page. That takes him into the public domain and makes him fair game for rebuttal.
If Hucks concept of being in the public domain is determined by whether or not a person has run for public office, consider this – Chad Caton never ran for public office but that hasn’t stopped Hucks from criticizing him continuously, in his blog, over the past several years.
Onward, “GABLE CALLS DREW GUILTY BY ASSOCIATION AMONG MATTERS GABLE KNOWS DREW HAS NO CONTROL OVER.” (capitalized emphasis by Hucks) What Hucks is referring to here are my comments about Drew brokering business with Progressive Insurance and Drew’s support of Clemson University athletics.
As an independent insurance agent, Drew certainly has control over which companies he places business and certainly has freedom of choice about which university athletic teams he supports. Drew criticized Blaine-Bellamy for “her twisted beliefs”, when she issued a proclamation to an LGBTQ group. How is his support for organizations, which do exactly the same thing or more to include the LGBTQ community, not hypocritical when Drew can simply choose not to associate himself with those organizations if he hates those same “twisted beliefs” so much?
I didn’t call Drew guilty BY association, I said he was hypocritical WITH association.
And Hucks tries to make a big deal out of the fact I didn’t call Drew to find out his opinion about the Clemson policies. Drew’s comment about “her twisted beliefs” on my Facebook page said everything.
“Gable is working directly from the left’s “shame and guilt by association” playbook. Such actions, like these, put a complete chill on freedom of speech and Gable is too practiced in his craft not to know this.”
Shame and guilt by association are in the playbooks on both sides of the political spectrum. Included in Hucks’ article is a cartoon of Joe and Hunter Biden circled by wagons with logos of traditional media and federal law enforcement agencies. However, Hucks’ caption reads, “What’s Good For Biden is Good For Gay Pride Proclaimer Blaine-Bellamy.” If that is not an attempt to shame Blaine-Bellamy and guilt her by association with the Bidens, even when there is no coherent association, what is? Hucks certainly does not describe himself as a leftist, but he uses the same tactics. Hoist with your own petard (Shakespeare is timeless) there David.
Then we have a beauty, “The City of Conway has over 27,000 residents. Reports we have been given access to show that Conway has 13 publicly known gay residents.”
My first question is who the hell is keeping reports on gay residents in Conway and WHY?
Hucks says those 13 should have a voice but so should the other 26,987. I guess that goes back to his claim that I am trying to shut Drew up.
Two things – First, as I said in my article Drew and now Hucks have a right to say whatever they want. I’m not trying to stop them. However, when they say it in the public domain, I have a right to respond if I choose and to point out misstatements, falsehoods, twisted logic and hypocrisy.
Second, Drew doesn’t live in Conway, so why is Hucks talking about Conway residents and their free speech? Furthermore, a recent Gallup poll showed 7.2% of the U. S. population identifies as LGBTQ. There is no reason to believe Conway differs significantly from the national norm. Using the 7.2%, Conway should have a population identifying itself as LGBTQ of approximately 1,944 persons. If the name takers only have 13 names, there is something seriously wrong with their approach.
Much of today’s political speech is taken up with attempting to make people afraid of something (i.e. leftists, shutting down free speech, gay pride agenda) and telling them who is to blame for it (i.e. me and Barbara Blaine-Bellamy). Many yell their hates and prejudices from the top of their lungs, but want to get angry and whiny when they are called out on their twisted logic, misstatements and untruths.
David, to again paraphrase Shakespeare, methinks thou doth protest too much about my supposed use of shame tactics while you attempt to shame me.
However, as I said before, it you want to try and shame someone, you better stick with me because Barbara Blaine-Bellamy is way out of your league.
Here’s a link to the Hucks article: https://myrtlebeachsc.com/local-journalist-joins-the-bandwagon-of-shaming-private-citizens-who-speak-freely/