By Tommy DeSeno, first posted on Ricochet.com
This story requires one to consider social mores, conservatism, government powers, libertarianism, class, classlessness, tradition, expression, subsidiarity, humility, pride and manners. In other words, it’s practically the reason Ricochet.com was created.
My beloved little city of Asbury Park, NJ made national headlines in 2010 when a local storekeeper, while attempting to drum up business, made a push for the City by the Sea to have a nude beach. The measure was ultimately rejected. That it was seriously considered at all shows how liberal Bruce Springsteen’s adopted hometown has become (of the 5,418 registered voters, only 390 are Republican).
What a difference two years makes though. Former councilwoman and Republican Committeewoman Louise Murray has found a 50 year old ordinance on the books that says people in Asbury Park may not wear bathing suits on the boardwalk. At a recent council meeting she pleaded with the City to once again enforce it. Her plea has been picked up as newsworthy locally, regionally, and nationally now that Drudge has given it a headline. The City Council is considering her request.
I don’t know if there is a social conservative backlash to the Obama Administration going on in this country but this might actually be proof of it. Here is an exchange between Ms. Murray and Asbury Park Deputy Mayor John Loffredo as reported by a local website, www. moremonmouthmusings.net:
“I’ll be darned if I want to be standing at a bar and have somebody slither up in a Speedo or bikini that shouldn’t be in a bathing suit,” Murray said. “It’s disgraceful … I implore you to enforce this, but do not amend it.”
Deputy Mayor John Loffredo responded, “I honestly don’t disagree with you.”
Why is that exchange important? Loffredo is one of New Jersey’s first openly gay elected politicians and a Democrat. He’s a liberal. He supports Asbury Park’s annual Gay Pride Parade (and you know how they dress marching in that). Yet he doesn’t disagree with Ms. Murray about this. A shift in social mores?
A bit of history about Asbury Park for context. It was founded as a Methodist retreat in the late 1800s. It had been a dry town where certain sports were originally banned as they might attract bettors. This one square mile City still has nearly 40 churches. So full of elegance was it that when I was a boy people would dress up to walk downtown and women working at the local department store were forbidden from wearing pants.admin | Filed under: Asbury Park, Asbury Park Sun, Tommy DeSeno | Tags: Asbury Park, Banana Hammock, bathing suits, Beach attire, Democrat, Gays, hairy rear, John Loffredo, Libeitarian, Louise Murray, manners, Republican, Social conservative, Tommy DeSeno | 3 Comments »