The political hunting season opened Aug. 5 and the forecast is tepid through November.
There are a handful of challenged city council races in the cities I cover, but most candidates made it to the ballot without a battle.
Deciphering the message in the plethora of unchallenged seats is similar to reading tea leaves soaked in succotash and out-of-date buttermilk. We can call it complacency, euphoria or a TV show about lying teenage girls was on and couldn’t be missed.
In challenged races I avoid forecasting the winners, losers and whiners. I never predict the future unless it involves a horse race.
I could handicap a political race if I could get reliable past performances from the Daily Racing Form like I do with the Longacres Mile or Kentucky Derby.
The past performances or PPs from candidates I suspect would leave out the notes like:
• Fell down at the half-mile pole because it was too darn hot and the sun was in his eyes;
• Finished last because he ate two Big Macs and three orders of fries last night (Mmmm – those were the days);
• Ran off the track at the far turn because he wanted his peanut butter and jelly and cheese sandwich with the crust cut off like his grandma always did;
• Got really tired and started whimpering when the gate opened because he stayed up too late watching Book TV (that would be my PP).
Figuring out who wins and who loses in city races is a roll of the loaded dice.
In the years I have covered races I have only seen one or two candidates with motives less than straight and cheery.
I believe most local candidates think they can do good and want to help their community. The question for a voter is: does a candidates’ vision of good line up with your vision – and more importantly, do you have an idea what is best for your community?
Many people kvetch about the various elected bodies. Running for office to fix the kvetch is often not very zip-a-dee-doo-dah, and once on the inside they find government by design moves like a darn cold iceberg.
“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars….”
Local races may seem uninspired compared to the Trumpmobile, but a city council race affects a community where it lives, drives and plays Yahtzee.
The happy news is the Constitution was crafted by the founders to protect us from the worst – and it has worked well.
Alexis de Tocqueville in his two-volume “Democracy in America” described the political system he observed in 1840.
“Men will not accept truth at the hands of their enemies, and truth is seldom offered to them by their friends…. Each partisan is hurried beyond the limits of his opinions by the excesses of his opponent, until he loses site of the end.”