Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Energy That Needs to Be Spent

I came down to my computer with a blank slate today.  After a great event last night and an important endorsement vote tonight, my mind is everywhere but "share something with the world".

But then I read Jason's blog post about the Oakland Mills CA Rep nonsense.  If you have not already added Jason to your blog reading rotation, I highly recommend doing so.  He has a great writing style, is funny, and takes on the issues that would otherwise be inappropriate for me to write about as a candidate.  Jason's take on the County Executive race is a must-read for anyone who wants to speak intelligently about the prospects of either candidate.

Anyhow, he finishes Tuesday's post with the following line:

Definite shenanigans, which is too bad, given the energy that needs to be spent solving real issues.

If that doesn't sum up the whole of political frustration, I don't know what would.  And in a way, it addresses the manner in which political discussions spend so much time addressing the periphery.  Personal characteristics of the candidate.  Gaffs.  Hugger or not a hugger.  Their ability to inspire with a five minute speech.  Their tendency to give 15 minute speeches.

And it is hopelessly idealistic to expect anything else.  I've heard much more about whether or not certain candidates should smile or make people "feel good" in relation to this County Executive race than I've heard anyone say which candidate will do the heavy lifting on flood mitigation on the West End of Main Street or their interest/ability to direct federal, state, and local funding for Inner Arbor to make sure this is a park your kids (and not your grandkids) will be able to enjoy.

Definite shenanigans, which is too bad, given the energy that needs to be spent solving real issues.

We can do something about that.  I think all of us who spend our hyper-local time giving hyper-local attention to hyper-local issues should make 2014 an election year of substance.  It's April.  The primary is in June.  What are our priorities for the next four years?  Are we really going to let this election cycle scurry by without pinning down the vision of our putative leaders?

When someone asks you (and they will) "What do you think about the X race?", I challenge you to have a substantive answer.  Because Jason's right.  We need energy directed towards the real issues of our time.  But first, we need to know what those issues are.

Have a great Wednesday doing what you love!