Most people do not pay any attention to their local political scene. They vote every four years in a Presidential election and they pat themselves on the back for check off that mental box of participation in the political process. As of late though, the Gwinnett County Commission has become a more embroiled entity. The good Lord KNOWS Commission Chairman Charlotte Nash is trying her hardest to smooth things over like every Southern woman has done for one foolish man or another in her circle. But we all know there aren’t enough hand written notes IN THE WORLD that can smooth this one over! This hits close to home for me because it literally IS my home now. And it is of particular interest to me now that my last home (Atlanta) has become involved in Gwinnett County Commission dealings via a letter from Mayor Kasim Reed to Commissioner Tommy Hunter’s employer, United Consulting. You can find the text of the letter and coverage by Adrianne Haney and Duffie Dixon of WXIA here. Continue reading “Gwinnett, the New Ground Zero Post-Trump”
I enjoy discussing Presidential campaign politics as much as I enjoy tilling the red clay in my backyard when it hasn’t rained in a few weeks. It’s tedious, gets me hot under the collar, and only has marginal capability of providing me with anything of beauty or worth in the end. So I tread carefully when discussing our Presidential picks. I leave that to my friends in the District. I keep my feet firmly planted in state and local affairs. Yet my ears perked up when I was listening to FiveThirtyEight’s podcast some time ago on Hillary making ad buys in Georgia. And then again today when the DPG emailed out the NY Times front page line indicating Georgia may be a swing state for HRC. First, the NY Times knows little about Georgia politics. Yet FiveThirtyEight is a strictly data oriented site. If you are unaware of FiveThirtyEight, it’s really a fantastic podcast and the analysis of polling is really both delightful and heartbreaking, depending upon how you perceive the results. Nate Silver, Harry Enten, Claire Malone, and Jody Avirgan are the political nerds people like me look to for the cold hard numbers to back up or destroy our assumptions. I find their humor engaging, their discussions meaningful to understanding the macro in our nation’s politics, and I always find their insights thought provoking.
It should be said, aside from admiring this team, their work and their expertise, I admire data above all. I trust the data more times than not. If the numbers tell you something, believe it. In their August 29th podcast, Nate Silver encourages the listeners to look beyond the numbers though, for the inevitable “swing” where Clinton’s lead across the nation will inevitably fall in certain areas. The group discussion centers around where that swing and fall may occur. You can click on the link and at about minute 29 they get into the Georgia discussion.
Spoiler alert: I disagree. Continue reading “Will HRC Really Win Georgia?”
I feel I have either recently had an excellent reprisal on history lessons or politics has dwindled to nothing more than reuse and recycle. This idea crystallized for me watching Netflix (the bastion of intellect and high-minded shows that it is). Netflix has The Kennedys on tap right now, and after my binge watching of Mad Men and House of Cards in lieu of watching the Republican debates, this seemed like a natural order of viewing pleasure. The last episode I watched was the one where Kennedy has to send the National Guard down to Ole Miss to allow James Meredith to register for classes that led to a riot that killed two people. Prior to the riot, Governor Barnett stoked the flames of the already burning anger in the crowd by citing their outrage over all the “wrongs” the Kennedy Administration had done them, not disclosing that he and Kennedy had repeatedly been in discussion over the matter in an attempt to prevent the situation becoming a riot. The outrage that Barnett fueled reminded me so much of what’s going on now in politics. Not much has changed since the 1960s: Confederate flags, reproductive rights, belittling of women. The names have changed, but the song remains the same.
In each situation, the outraged party says someone has gone “too far”. I don’t disagree.
Personally, I find outrage to be a poor tool for getting anything actually done policy-wise. I have done my share of marching and angry finger-wagging to be sure, and once I recognized how little the other side listened to this (and how these stunts are used to manipulate the media), I chose a different path. There is a place for passionate discourse in politics- lord knows I have my soap boxes. Yet as soon as the conversation ends, you have no means for a workable solution, only fallout. You have no ability to interact across the aisle without the courtesy of respect for the other side.
But it sure gets you attention, does it not? Take a look at the headlines compiled over the weekend. Continue reading “Faux Outrage: Politics in the Era of Trump”