Spring Hill will draw on strength

June 7, 2009

Spring Hill will draw on strength

By Michael Dinwiddie

GM is scheduled to be idled in November. There it is — a fact. Let’s not tiptoe around it. Let’s meet it head-on.

Let’s not allow ourselves to be paralyzed with fear or mired down in depression. Now is not the time for demoralizing self-pity. Now is the time to be strong. To quote one of my heroes, Eddie Rickenbacker, "There can be no courage unless you’re scared."

There are certainly two ways to look at this news. While some take the pessimistic viewpoint, telling us how devastating this will be to our economy and how horrible life will be, I will remain optimistic and maintain that while this certainly wasn’t the best news we could have hoped for, it wasn’t the worst news, either.

Out of 17 plants across the country, 14 were closed outright. We were not one of them. It was through the hard work of individuals like UAW local Chairman Mike Herron, Maury County Mayor Jim Bailey, Williamson County Mayor Rogers Anderson, state Rep. Ty Cobb of Columbia, Gov. Phil Bredesen, state Economic & Community Development Commissioner Matt Kisber and many others that this plant remains open today.

This means that we still have some time and, as long as we have time, we have hope. We must keep that hope alive.

The negative spin we are seeing on this story will create a self-fulfilling prophecy and do more damage to our local economy than the actual decision could ever do, which is sad because it doesn’t have to be that way.

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One of the most-asked questions is "How will this affect Spring Hill?" Financially, I believe our local small-business owners will suffer the most. We must shop locally to support our local businesses.

Psychologically and emotionally, it’s going to have a big impact — not just on Spring Hill, but on the entire region. Let’s face it: Even though it wasn’t the worst news we could have gotten, this was still a pretty hard punch in the gut. There are thousands of families who are suddenly faced with the very real questions of how they will manage to keep their homes, keep food on the table and pay the bills in the very near future.

These are hard-working American families who, over the course of generations, have played a vital role in shaping the country in which we live. Hard-working American families who take great pride in their work and who should not have to compete with a communist or socialist government outside our country to earn a living.

If there was ever a time to stand strong, now is that time. We have been down this path before. This plant has been idled in the past, and we have survived. We will face this new challenge with confidence and determination.

My promise to the residents of our great city, to those in the surrounding region and to the employees of that plant is that I will work tirelessly toward a successful outcome and, by all of us working together, we will succeed.


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