Good for Maxwell for standing up for Downingtown

Trump’s comment deserved pushback, Mayor deserves support

By Mike McGann, Editor, The Times

UTMikeColLogo copyDowningtown Mayor Josh Maxwell called Republican presidential candidate — and the likely GOP nominee — a “jerk” this week. Honestly, I would have called him something worse if Mr. Spray Tan had trashed my hometown on Twitter.

Far worse.

But now Maxwell finds himself in the crosshairs of every Internet troll and mindless Trump supporter for having the temerity to stand up to The Donald — and point out that, once again, he doesn’t know what the (insert your favorite expletive here) he’s talking about.

In case you missed it — network’s TV’s gain and the political world’s loss tweeted the following while traveling in Pennsylvania the other day:

“Passing what was once a vibrant manufacturing area in Pennsylvania. So sad!”

Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 8.06.06 AMSet aside the fact that Trump’s own efforts have converted wide swaths of places like Atlantic City into economic basket cases, the irony of his tweet is this: the old Sonoco Paper plant is about to be demolished and the site redeveloped — the exact sort of brownfields redevelopment  where everyone wins. An addition to the tax base, new jobs and no additional sprawl.

And when Maxwell dared to push back and defend his hometown, he got hammered.

I spoke with him the other day as he was greeting voters at Rainbow Valley Elementary School in Valley — he’s running for State Representative — he talked a bit about how his social media accounts have been swamped with vitriol and worse. He went with his instinct to defend his home, his community and almost seemed startled by the anger that came his way.

“My phone, my Facebook was blowing up,” he said, between chatting with voters on a myriad of other, arguably more worthy subjects. He allowed that he had to block some accounts and posts because they were so vile.

Since then, the Internet blackshirts have continued to stalk Maxwell for daring to criticize Der Trumpster (and yes, that rhymes with ‘dumpster’ which is amazingly appropriate, here). Maxwell finally had to address it on his Facebook page:

“I am a volunteer, essentially. The salary for a Mayor of Downingtown’s size is ~ 2,000 dollars a year,” Maxwell wrote.

“I’m trying my best.

“This is my public, personal facebook page. When someone posts something that is profane, intentionally agitating to someone else or abusive in anyway- I delete it. If someone does that multiple times, I block them.

“I know dozens (and possibly a lot more) middle school students and up to high school students view my page including probably my nieces. Often I get messages from students or parents asking if I will be interviewed for a class assignment or visit their school.

“For that reason, I try to keep a positive approach while limiting agitating behavior.

“I probably shouldn’t have called Donald Trump a ‘jerk’ for referring to Downingtown or a for-too-long vacant building as ‘sad’. At the time, I didn’t feel the negative attention the comment brought to this community was warranted.

“That being said, please keep in mind, that I am essentially a volunteer trying my best to make our community as good as it can be. Downingtown is amazing, I was raised here and I hope to be here for a long time.

“It is my hope that we can make our community better by doing what Downingtown has always done ever since we were a milltown; working together, working hard, and never giving up.

“Now that I have said that, I have to get to work on getting that train station built quickly. I don’t want any more presidential candidates to think we are a yet-to-be-rehabbed industrial town. Downingtown is #smalltownheaven.”

Again, I think the mayor is being far too gracious and polite. I’d have told Trump and his minions to blow it out their portholes — and then, because it seems fair, I’d point out a litany of Trump’s personal and professional failures that make the old paper plant look like the Taj Mahal. Yes, irony intended. And yes, “sad.”

So I say, good for the Josh Maxwell’s of the world, standing up for their hometown’s against Trump and his army of ‘Net bullies.

Maxwell is showing why America still is great — that we’re still a nation of small towns and the people who love and fight for them, regardless of what the rich guy in the limo says.

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  1. Nathaniel says:

    Yes, good for Mayor Maxwell! Communities, defend yourselves! The presidential candidates aren’t going to do it for us.

  2. D. Miller says:

    While not a Trump supporter but did grow up and live in Dtown for 25 years. Trump is not that far off. I grew up there when the mill was in full swing and it wasn’t full of stupid shops. I worked at Daytons Sunoco while in school, so I know. I see the boarded up houses, and I was just there this weekend. I do think it’s sad when I go through there each week, I have seen it go from a thriving small “home-town” to what it is now. Mostly small shops and what use to be the Dtown farmers market which was great to visit on Friday night. Now it’s major store chains which is fine but I think what he’s getting at is that it used to be manufacturing and did have high paying jobs which is no longer that because the chain stores pay is low.
    At least it’s not Coatesville which we all know is a turd, and you know no matter how much you polish a turd IT’S still a turd!!!

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