It's always easier to notice when election season is gearing up as the campaign chatter becomes centered on three issues that no one ever does anything about after a given contest is over.
Those issues would be crime, education (The Eye's personal favorite for candidates' B.S.), and "we-get-no-return-on-our-excessive-property-taxes."
Last week, the big talk was about crime.
State Sen. Robert Ford (D-Chas.) published an Aug. 17 letter he had sent to the mayors of Charleston and North Charleston.
Ford used the letter to call for a more pronounced police presence in high-crime neighborhoods and propose that monies confiscated from drug busts should be used to fund a $10,000 per officer incentive to work in said areas.
In the letter, Ford suggested: "In the alternative, if the city's current police resources cannot be stretched or increased, I would ask you to consider requesting assistance from the governor to authorize the use of the National Guard to augment the police patrolling these neighborhoods to help make them safe and secure for the good people who live there."
Is he for real? Wasn't it just this summer that former Gov. Bob McNair apologized for the 1968 Orangeburg Masssacre, which was the last time the National Guard was called out on a group of black Americans.
Ford told The Post and Courier that he was motivated by figures (uncited) that claimed approximately three young black men a week are dying in Charleston and North Charleston and that residents in high-crime neighborhoods are too afraid to sit out on their porches.
Ford asserted that the same group of recidivist offenders are the cause of all the trouble (no argument) and if resources can be found to pay teachers a $10,000 bonus to work in troubled schools, why not the same for the police?
Uh, how about the fact that the cops carry guns and teachers are packing disciplinary slips, mused The Eye.
Charleston mayor Joe Riley politely scoffed at Ford's idea to the P&C, saying that the fault for repeat offenders lies squarely at the feet of the SC General Assembly, "We should have mandatory, lengthy jail sentences for a crime involving a gun."
Uh, since when has The South been "soft on crime," wondered The Eye.
Summey responded by asserting that Ford's bonus idea is unnecessary saying, "We've got no issue getting people to work in high-crime areas. They like to stay busy ... The answer is more one of social change, and unfortunately government is not good at that."
The Eye's not buying what Summey is selling with regard to his last assertion — government is good at what the electorate tells it to be good at, and if the majority of people don't tell it what to do by not voting, then government is necessarily going to lie down on the job.
It seems to The Eye that all three have a part of the solution to the metro area crime problem.
Sure, laws can be tougher, social infrastructure can be stronger, and the judicial system can be helped by trusting local judgment vs. mandatory sentencing requirements.
However, when The Eye was growing up, if there was a problem in the 'hood, the neighbors got together and did what they could do to solve it.
The cops were only ever called as the DEF-CON 5/Final Option.
If you're afraid to sit on your porch by yourself, then get your neighbors to do it with you.
And do it the next day with more neighbors and then the next day with even more and the day after that until, like beach erosion, the creeps either leave or get their collective butt thrown in jail because there are now more witnesses fed up with wise guys screwing the pooch in the front yard.