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May 17, 2016

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Yay for Matt!

If you think even for a second this is the end of the oligarchy in Salem, I've got a third bridge to sell you.

Here's why I'm not trying to read too much into these election results:

1) Berniemania. The effect of having Bernie Sanders on the ticket brought out the progressive vote for the primary. Trump emerging as the nominee early enough in submitting ballots in Oregon meant a depression of turnout among conservatives. It makes sense this would have an effect on the voting down ticket. And this makes me nervous because....

2) Progressives are way too damn fickle when in comes to returning to the ballot box if they don't get every little thing they want. Think about it. In 2008, progressives flock to the polls to carry Barack Obama to the White House. Low and behold, he's not Jesus, getting stuff done in a republic is tough without some help, and progressive don't get the massive change they wanted by the time the 2010 midterm roll around. So they stay home. And we get the freaking Tea Party. I fully blame progressives for that. What's to say they aren't going to stay home in two years again when Sanders isn't in the White House and then there's no gains for progressives on the City Council in the other wards?

3) Finally, progressive candidates need to actually BE GOOD CANDIDATES, not just progressive. They need to have a concrete plan to rule, not just throw out pie-in-the-sky ideals and abstract platitudes like "listening to the people". That's not a campaign platform, that's a basic expectation (even if those in charge haven't been doing so). If other progressives can win elections by double digit percentages (hell, even 3-to-1) and a mayoral candidate can lose an election by double digit percentages among the same voters, that means there were issues with the campaign and the candidate, maybe both.

So, I'm cautiously optimistic. Emphasis on the cautiously. Double emphasis, actually.

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