A round-up of the week’s news is both depressing and yet more evidence of what a dysfunctional community we the people are and just how much power means in this nation and the world. Apparently “we the people” have some power, witness the Time-Warner/Comcast failure to merge. (There really must have been some other reason than “we the people” opposing it)
It really is all about the power. There’s not much difference between public policy and elections, especially when money and power blur the lines.
One of the stylists who cuts my hair at a downtown upscale location responded to my question by asking me, “Well who is getting your vote for mayor?”
I responded, “Does it really matter?”
“Well, yes. The mayor runs the city.”
I replied, “Really?”
What I wanted to say was, “Are you kidding me?” “How do you figure?”
This is just an overgrown, dry little dusty Texas (red) town (albeit the seventh largest city in the nation) with a “weak mayor” form of governance.
Then I stated in the form of a question, “You do know that the city manager, Scully (no, not that Scully), runs the city, right?”
Interestingly the stylist cutting my hair responded, “What do you think about how much she’s paid?”
“It’s obscene, of course”, I replied.
Without question one-percenters run this nation. It has always been so. (Howard Zinn believe that likely as not the one-percent had been in control long before the Revolution) It’s just that now given our “connectedness” it’s more obvious and more difficult to hide. Besides, Zinn was an optimist.
Consider this, in this tiny, if overgrown, dry little Texas (red) town an incredible number of fairly well off (by local standards) individuals are giving up a great deal to run for an office (mayor) that pays about zip. Did I mention it’s a “weak mayor” form of governance?
One of the candidates gave up a swell sounding post, state senator, for the opportunity to assume the “weak mayor” post.
A former “county commissioner”, who until ego got the best of him (he and spouse are DINKs) was pulling down some good bucks as commissioner, has even jumped into the race.
Then there’s a long laundry list of other would-be mayoral candidates. For a job that pays about zip? Really?
So what’s that all about you’re thinking. It’s not about the money. There isn’t any. The mayor earns about $3000.00 (you’re kidding, right?)
So what’s in it for them?
Is it the ego thing? You know the God-syndrome.
More likely it’s the high visibility and exposure. It makes people believe you are worth their vote because you must know what you’re doing. Right.
I’ve worked with and for these slugs. I’m not a homey. I’m not anyone local’s ahijado. So only my abilities made me worthy to serve them just not as an elected member of the community.
And there’s the rub. These are home-grown power-mongers. They relish the power, however limited and provincial. Then again a local-yokel did ascend to the millionaire’s club from the position. That’s tragic, for the city, state and nation.
If there’s one thing the city can count on it is that from among their ranks a dirt bag shall rise, think Cisneros. (I’ll have to tell you about the time I met him when he had come to pander to the political firebrand with whom I worked.)
I continued my querie of the stylist, “You do know they (mayors of this city) have no real power, right? “They don’t even get to declare water restrictions when the city is in one of its perpetual droughts.”
“Who does that?” my attractive stylist asked, red pouty lips parted.
“Seriously?” “The city manager, of course.”
“So why do they do it?”
They must like being bag men.
“You do know it’s all about the power, no?”
From Texas Red: a cratered landscape of for profit prisons, a deplorable apartheid public education system, lack of healthcare and politicians and majority voting population intent on keeping it that way…