I am not sure what to make of this next election. If you are looking for a nice, clean difference between the two – then good luck. But then, it never has been that way in politics. In our Republic, you often get a choice between bad, less bad, a little bad; good, somewhat good and sufficient good.
But in our case as a community; the candidates are actually overshadowed by the larger demographics and cultural shifts going on in and around the city. Each household represents the attitudes and belief systems of a block of voters.
The real question is, are there enough of a particular block to reach that magic 51%?
We have an increasingly growing amount of people who are moving in that are more affluent, and have an absolute ignorance of our history and the culture that has resulted from it. They have intimate knowledge of what is going on in DC and the Statehouse; but know little of local politics. They have well-formed opinions that are cemented on a national level but haven’t the foggiest idea or even have a stance on local issues. The one plus is that they are here because of our city’s quality of life. They may not know the details or the origins that created that wonderful environment but they certainly don’t want it to go away.
Then we have the Preservationists. Let’s just be blunt. They just like it here! Words such as ‘wonderful’, ‘restful’, ‘secure’ are just inadequate to describe the city. Maybe ‘friendly’, ‘family’, ‘accepting’, etc. Maybe it is just that the low-crime rate and the sense of community set in an internationally-looking setting gives almost a utopian feel to the place. It doesn’t hurt that we are surrounded by ancient architecture and beautiful ecology.
Unfortunately, this group can often feel like Thurston Howell the third wondering why the riff-raff are allowed to come into the country club. They see accommodations made increasingly to visitors while they have to pay the taxes to support the infrastructure and services. Many come to the unfortunate conclusion of wanting to kick out the unwanted guests to ‘preserve’ all the goodies. (not realizing it’s those increasing visitors that provide all those goodies!)
Putting aside actual facts on any given issue; each candidate has to persuade this amorphous block to vote enough for them to reach a majority. First, they have to get that newcomer block up to speed (like the NRA is not the NRA; and no; we should not chop all the nasty street trees off the sidewalks and some such silly responses on various subjects.) Second, they have to fight this Zenophobic ‘Agin’it’ attitude from the second block of voters.
I am just one vote and I have already decided whom I’ll be choosing; but knowing the facts doesn’t help to persuade these two large masses of humanity. There will be hyperbole, there will be hysteria and an urge to persuade by asserting ridiculous conclusions.
In the meantime, I’m just a spectator – reading the news and watching the events. I’ll put in my two cents in the hope that I can at least give some guidance before that fateful day in November.
Let the politics begin!