Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What was the Local Election 2010 About Anyway

The people who won in Wilton Manors municipal elections won basically because they were able to leverage their messages most effectively.  Say what you will about Gary Resnick and Julie Carson and their behavior before the election, they were effective at leveraging the bird cage liner of a new paper that is called the Island City News.   The ICN has this habit of printing long winded articles that make Gary Resnick look like the Second Coming that will "even slice dice and make Julienne fries".  I doubt that Mr Resnick knows how to make fries, although he may be quite good in the kitchen.  I doubt that the Island City News has printed an accurate article about any of the issues that have happened in Wilton Manors other than perhaps that a meeting happened in the Commission Chambers on a certain night.   Usually after getting that paper it is more like the "Lies in the City News" than anything else because what I read there usually has me wondering what meeting the reporter was writing about.

When you have a someone using the "bully pulpit" on a regular basis, and that is the only message that you hear, you begin to believe it.   Propaganda is a great weapon and if you tell a lie often enough it becomes the truth.  Whether the bully is the publisher of that particular paper or the article writer, I will leave to you to find your own opinion.  I have my own.  This being a blog posting, it is completely unpaid opinion and it is up to you to decide whether to believe me or not.

The Island City News is NOT an official publication of the Wilton Manors City Government in any way shape or form.  They may have pretensions of becoming one, and you can ask them yourself whether that is in the publishers plans, I for one do not believe anything printed in the paper.  When you have a paper that has a questionable grip on reality making the only political recommendations, you end up with people like Gary Resnick and Julie Carson having a significant advantage.

The other issue at hand is the "Phone it In" mentality that some people have with participation in their own City government.  This is where people who never show for a single Commission Meeting will pick up a paper or surf a web site for an "expert" opinion and then use it exclusively.   Generally it is better to ask your neighbors who they're going to vote for and get a reason why than depend on any one given organization. 

No matter where it comes from, an opinion is by definition biased.  If you surf the Democratic Party's website you will get a list of Democratic candidates.   The Republicans will do the same.  The Dolphin Democrats will only recommend a straight candidate if they do not compete with a gay candidate.  Everyone has their own bias.  The people who tend to read one blog or web site will have a common mindset - Birds of a Feather will vote together.  The exception are the League of Women's Voters sites and similar.  Trying to come to an objective conclusion without having ever spoken to a local candidate is next to impossible.   If you have never been to a commission meeting or a political rally, you really do need to.  Getting up off the couch is important.  Unfortunately, those same people who are not researching their votes are the majority and they are the ones who will win the election.

It is the job of the candidate to get out and counter the bias for an incumbent by knocking on doors.  Walking down the streets on Recycling Day you see people walk to the mailbox and drop the political flyers directly into the recycling bin without a glance.  It is much more difficult to put a candidate into the recycling bin.  The candidate needs to concentrate outside of the core group, and if you are an outsider you need to spend time on those people who are most likely not going to vote. 

In this system, it all depends on marketing and getting your message out.  "Putting a spin on things" is so common that I can use that phrase and have it be universally understood.  Unfortunately that also reflects on the dumbing down of the entire process.  We are all busy but there are some things that are important and if you hand away your decision making power to a representative, you need to do so with care and not to a biased "News" source.   On the other hand, Fox News makes a lot of money being a shill for the right so it must work.

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