It seems like we were just here not that long ago….
Local elections only for me with a new mayor and two council positions open. I’m fairly confident my selection for mayor will win and quite possibly both council positions as well. I suppose that’s a good thing, but I readily admit I’m kind of not really that concerned with the mayor; both would be overall good candidates I think with an equal measure of political yuck associated.
But the Council…. One race, city-wide council rep, is completely beyond my interest. It’s been dominated by one person from the get-go, and the election is merely a formality. Besides, as with the mayor, I think either candidate would be acceptable.
The other race has been somewhat bitter with a strong candidate in one corner and a nameless entity in the other. This race has seen an anti-group speak much louder than an actual opposition. Instead of presenting a clear alternative, the opposition has stepped forward with an “anyone but…” approach that has been wonderfully bitter and angry.
In large measure, it has defined my political frustration this last year.
It seems that politics in general have disintegrated into stopping the other party more than actually offering a solution. I felt that way in the past, and I definitely feel that way with both parties currently. Not all, of course, but there is certainly a measure of hindrance rather than discussion that I find distasteful.
I think it was Louisiana governor Jindal who said that an opposition party’s primary duty is to offer constructive alternatives, a thought that truly practiced would lead to great success. But I don’t see that anymore from either party.
From Obama’s sham of bipartisanship to republican stall tactics, all I see lately is a me-first, party-first mentality that seems bent on political failure. Ideas and thoughts are no longer encouraged, especially in the public forum where opposing camps immediately label outsiders as fools while simultaneously choosing to ignore and reject out of hand any other options. Tell me: Who is more foolish? The person who suggests something different or the person who rejects those thoughts based on preconceived notions of right and wrong?
I miss the true political dialog of constructive debate. Watching this council race has shown me quite clearly that many of us have lost the fine art of developing alternatives, presenting them in meaningful ways, and building on mutual foundations. Instead of introducing an alternative, we are too eager to impede.
I’ve found it interesting that the most commonly used phrase in relation to this council member is “stop so-and-so.” Where is progress in this argument? Where is the constructive moment? Where is the opportunity?
No, I’m afraid I’m going to support that candidate simply because the alternative appears to be an empty vacuum of negativity. If they had offered a solution, I would have taken a hard look at it. From where I sit, though, all they are offering is to stop.
Sorry, stopping isn’t an alternative; it’s an acceptance of failure.