As Election Season Heats Up, Mayors Run Unchallenged in Many Cities

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

It’s an election year in many U.S. cities as candidates run in mayoral elections around the country—from New York to Atlanta, and Miami to Seattle.

In New York City, Democrats are rallying around Bill de Blasio after Bill Thompson, the second-place finisher in his party's primary, announced he was withdrawing from the race.

De Blasio will face Republican nominee Joe Lhota, but the former leads among likely voters by 43 percentage points.

Elsewhere in the country, including in Atlanta and Miami, incumbents are now running without serious challengers. In a nation that prides itself on the democratic process, are local elections with only one serious candidate a sign of an ailing democracy?

Melissa Sanchez is a reporter for El Nuevo Herald in Miami. Jeanne Bonner is a Georgia Public Broadcasting reporter. They join The Takeaway to discuss the mayoral contests in their respective cities, and what happened to the other candidates.

Guests:

Jeanne Bonner and Melissa Sanchez

Produced by:

Tyler Adams

Editors:

T.J. Raphael

Comments [1]

Government is not longer representative: it is an impenetrable morass of technical and legal jargon manipulated directly and indirectly by those corporate "persons" which employ the actual incestuous guild of scribes and brokers comprising the legal/lobbying community to bring about desired ends of targeted government spending or special permissions/waivers of rules to promote investment. And though the media pretends not to know this on the OP ed pages and in the fiery rhetoric of blathering quasi news broadcasts, the public has figured the following things out:
1. voting is now completely irrelevant (the process has been gamed by money, gerrymandering, outright fraud, cabals of purported ideological fanatics of all shapes, sizes and positions).
2. what politicians say is meaningless (they cannot effect real change, and assassination is no longer necessary to frustrate every effort due to the complexity of Government control of and regulatory intervention in public affairs).
3. the special languages of the markets, foreign affairs, national security, legal maneuvering, public relations, opinion mongering and even the ghostly appeals to political thought and history are now special preserves run by a guild of especially qualified and controlled agents of monied interest which have reduced all debate to sophistry. (Newspeak)
4. the actual motives of those active in public affairs seem to be more and more obviously venal, prejudicial, mercurial and irrelevant to the legislative or regulatory proposals being discussed (the people and the message are unconnected). (Doublethink)
5. investment of a citizen's attention in affairs of the state automatically results in ad hominem criticism of any position. If the position is novel or individuated, it is crackpot. Only slavish devotion to an established "gang", "party", "caucus" or local "culture" allows politically active voices to be heard. The will to conformity is overwhelming in a scared and fragmented populace.
6. the politically active are increasingly vicious (acting on behalf of selfish vices, intolerance) because the "good lack all conviction" and disaffected folks acting or discussing any issue increasingly clamor for "real leaders" and other mental objects to "reform" a system they believe to be disfunctional because they don't have an audience.

In a word, if no-one ran for office that would suit the citizens just fine. The clerks, scribes and professional government "executive" don't need them at all, and the vox populi is overwhelming: there is no civilization in civics.

This isn't new. It has happened at several junctures in US history alone, nationally and locally. GB Shaw said it best:
"I have learned from experience that man does not learn by experience."

Sep. 20 2013 09:17 AM

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