This is a long but highly worthwhile read. I’d like to think it couldn’t happen here, but we all know better. Ft. Wayne’s councilman Jason Arp even looks like our former councilman Dan Coffey.
This article is highly recommended.
When the Culture Wars Hit Fort Wayne, by Charlie Savage (Politico)
A quiet Indiana city declared a holiday to celebrate its founder. In the age of Trump, nothing is ever that simple.
One chilly February evening last year in this Midwestern town where I grew up, a city council member named Jason Arp proposed a resolution: Starting that summer, the city should annually celebrate a “General ‘Mad’ Anthony Wayne Day.”
My hometown is a rust-belt industrial city of a quarter-million people on the confluence of three slow rivers, today home to branches of several defense contractors and a regionally famous zoo. Wayne was an early American military leader who in 1794 built a frontier fort here, during the period when white settlers from the young United States were pushing west into the Ohio Valley and coming into conflict with Native Americans. As a piece of city business, having a day in Fort Wayne to honor Anthony Wayne might seem—from a distance at least—to be correcting an oversight. Why wouldn’t the city have a founder’s day?
At the meeting, Arp, a stocky man in his mid-40s with close-cropped hair, leaned back and put forward a glowing portrait of Wayne as a hero and role model, clicking through a slideshow. Not only had Wayne won the Northwest Indian War and established the outpost that grew into the city, but he had earlier won fame in the American Revolution for leading a charge that overran a British outpost at Stony Point, New York. This feat, Arp said, had thwarted a British attempt to capture top American military leaders like George Washington and Henry Knox after the traitor Benedict Arnold had revealed their location. “We can thank Anthony Wayne for the fact that we even have a United States of America,” he said …