On social media, my close friend Mark Cassidy had this to say:
“I’m voting for Steve Burks. Who is with me?”
Burks is the Republican incumbent as New Albany Township Trustee, and when another reader asked why, Mark clearly explained.
Steve has proven to me that he can be even-handed. I need to take lessons in respectful discourse from him. Yes, he and I will not agree on many national issues, but that does enter into Trustee duties. Honesty, respect, and civility mean a lot to me on the local level, qualities sadly lacking in the local Democratic Party and most of their candidates. That’s why I’m voting straight Republican in city/county elections until the leadership of Floyd County Democrats is changed. I encourage you to do the same. I know it hurts some “good ‘uns” but those people need to stand up and be counted. I see little sign of that. If they want my vote, and hopefully many others, they’d better start.
For a very long time I’ve been debating what a marooned Euro-zone Social Democrat like me, still hugging left amid a flood of pathetic Joe Donnelly climb-downs, might contribute to this dialogue.
With the exception of previously stating a tactical expression of support for Carrie Klaus, the Democratic candidate for New Albany Township Advisory Board — which I’ve undertaken because of the hope, forlorn or otherwise, that she’ll soon cross over to the correct side of “street grid is social justice” history — I’ve been unwilling to say much for the record.
However, I replied to Mark at Facebook, and will repeat my response here, in slightly augmented form.
Where there is a Libertarian alternative in state races, I’ll vote Libertarian. This spares me the pure nausea of contemplating Indiana’s U.S. Senate race, already the impetus for a vast increase in air sickness bag sales. As for Tennessee Trey, well, no.
Liz Watson there. ‘Nuff said.
I’m pretty much in line with Mark at the local level apart from a contrarian’s unwillingness to vote straight-party-anything.
As such, the prime exceptions for me are the aforementioned Klaus (but has she taken a position on the public housing putsch? It might be a deal-breaker) and Anna Murray, who is challenging Ron Grooms for our State Senate seat.
To me, as with Mark, the prime objective of the mid-term election in 2018 is acting in whatever way that hastens the dissolution of the Dickey/Gahan/Nash “numb-o-cratic” clique, plain and simple.
Another election cycle of DemoDisneyDixiecratic losses and the way should be cleared for the clique’s final breakdown in 2019.
This means I’ll be casting votes for Republicans. There was a time when this might have been a breathtaking revelation, but now, in addition to the imperative of dismembering Dickeyism, I can honestly say that having come to know local Republicans a bit better over the years, I’ve found vast tracts of common ground at the grassroots level of local governance.
I can’t be a Republican, ever. I’m a left-winger. They’re not. But using Mark’s words as a guide– honesty, respect and civility — my conscience is clean and serene.
Yes, this means refraining from voting for a few quality Democrats, ones I know to be competent; in some of these races, both candidates are quite worthy. It pains me, and rest assured it actually isn’t “personal” in any of these races, but as Mark so presciently notes, their cognitive dissonance has grown tiresome.
It’s long past time for the ones who actually “get it” to stand up, step forward, and challenge the local Democratic Party’s catastrophically narrow orthodoxy.
If the rotten patronage structure can be torn down now, maybe it can be rebuilt into something genuinely useful, consistently ethical and worthy of a leftist’s support for the future.
That’s all I have to say about it. The Confidentials will vote next week at the clerk’s office, then leave town for a trip to Gdansk, Poland and a visit to the home of the Solidarity trade union movement. I’ll be visiting the European Solidarity Center in Gdansk for a few lessons in history and democracy of the sort seldom encountered at 312 Bank Street.
In closing, having been a candidate for office twice before, allow me to commend everyone locally who has chosen to run — even if I disagree with you. The community needs lots more contestants next spring in the primary for municipal positions, but we can’t make sense of 2019 until the evening of Tuesday, November 6.
Thanks for reading.