Good Governance trumped by Election Anger

img_0154“How can working class Americans vote against their own interests?!?”

Sound familiar?  This was just one twist on the voting results from the 2016 Presidential election posited by Democrats whose candidate, Hillary Clinton, lost despite polls that gave the appearance of an impressive lead.  The query was a vague attempt to rationalize the loss by suggesting a short-sighted view by those working-class/middle class voters who supported Donald T. Trump.

Given the Republican leadership’s inability to control their own herd of cats, it’s too early to determine whether that rationalization is an accurate reflection of the 2016 vote.  Parsing all the Winners from the Losers, when it comes to the 45th President’s administration, may take years.

Separating Winners from Losers does not take nearly that long when one looks at most Local Elections.  By now, some of the unabashed Moderate‘s regular readers may be tiring of my favorite political bumper sticker slogan, courtesy of long-time Democrat politician, Tip O’Neill

All politics is local!”

Now certainly, I cannot speak for the quality of all local political administrations; and for sure some of those that changed hands last week ago did so for legitimate cause.  But I can state unequivocally that one local Pennsylvania upset was nothing more than the expression of Political Anger and Frustration on the part of Democrats.  A state of fury clinging like a bad taste in the mouth for a Party misguided by their own leaders, who felt compelled to give Hillary Clinton just one more shot …

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We can all understand their anger and frustration.  We just wish they would come to terms with their anger in more productive ways than punishing local leaders doing good work and building strong, productive communities.  In the case of township elections in Horsham, PA – my own little slice of suburbia – the ranting Group Think did nothing more than punish local officials for decades of efficiency, foresight, and quality governance!

Witness the facts as they relate to last week’s results in Horsham, PA:

  • Local Democrats – a committee in varying forms of disarray largely due to past election failures  – ran the exact same slate of candidates – save one – that figured prominently in their most recent unsuccessful election history.
  • Said Democrats likely spent the same – if not less – than prior elections in money and political groundwork.
  • Republican leadership has successfully piloted the Township through a daunting Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process, fraught with implications for future Township growth and economic health, all the while …
  • Maintaining a favorable property and municipal tax position, relative to surrounding townships, which – among other things – allowed the School Board to replace an aging elementary school without tax increases to cover the costs.
  • School Board successfully replaced an outdated elementary school with a state-of-the-art facility without raising school-funding Property Taxes!
  • All of this accomplished without controversy, scandal, or subterfuge.

Certainly Life in Horsham is not always a bed of roses.  Opponents will point to an exasperatingly long BRAC process and the discovery of PFA pollution (perfluorinated compounds) in groundwater resulting from contaminants from the BRAC’ed  military base.  But none of those problems were caused or controlled by local Leadership.

BB6ED508-9B63-4AD2-A8D9-2E3CB166824ALastly, Horsham has been routinely listed in Money Magazine as a “Best Place to Live” community.  And recently was cited by a local NBC affiliate for the dynamic business and employment opportunities and municipal-provided amenities that make the Township a quality environment in which to live and work!

Despite that very favorable reputation and their own personal choice to remain in a township that undoubtedly meets their own definitions for Quality-of-Life, last Tuesday many Democrats chose to bounce two-thirds of a candidate slate whose legacy made much of the above a budget-friendly reality!

We get it!  Democrats are angry, depressed, disillusioned, and looking for Republicans to blame.  And apparently that anger and desperate need to “send a message” was done at the expense of elected officials guilty of nothing more than doing a good job!

“How could you vote against your own interests?!?”

Indeed …

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Pennsylvania flipped to Trump

Berwood A.Yost provides a well-written analysis (See link provided below.) of how Pennsylvania ended up in the Trump column after voting Democrat in 6 consecutive Presidential elections dating back to 1988. In some regards it’s a “Duh … no kidding!” analysis, but it hits squarely on my favorite Tip O’Neill quote, “All politics is local.”
the unabashed Moderate can relate because I tend to concentrate my political efforts towards local politicians and elections, where the effects on everyday – and every voter’s – life is more directly felt. Locally, our Republican leadership has maintained its hold because the Residents appreciate the efficiency of township government; the favorable reputation of our schools; and the efforts to maintain a balance in taxes.
These conditions demonstrate Yost’s conclusion that people tend to vote based on how their communities prosper – or don’t – and whom they credit or blame.
It’s not difficult to extrapolate the same theories to National Politics, as any voter who pays attention can tell when their life is positively – or negatively – affected by what Leadership DOES … and not by what Leadership says or promises. And the theory works not only for explaining why people will vote a certain way, but also why they WON’T support some (e.g. Hillary) even when they represent the legacy of a “favored” outgoing administration.
This may be an all-too-obvious treatment of what happened in November; but it reinforces the concept that people will vote the way they see THEIR lives at that given moment in time … not flowery speeches; personal attacks; or hazy promises of social change.
This is the reason the Democrats have had such a difficult time trying to break into our township government. With all-around successful management, the opposition has no options for offering meaningful change. And our voters appreciate the living environment our long-running municipal leadership has provided!

Politics and the Internet: Virtual pogroms of the Unpure

pogrom (noun) – an organized massacre

That word – pogrom – is loaded with emotion, horror, danger.  It’s not a word I like to use, even hyperbolically as I do here to make a point.  But when trying to describe the movements afoot in some corners of the Internet, where profiles are systematically removed (i.e. killed) solely for threatening ideological purity, the words “virtual pogrom” seem to fit.  My apologies to anyone who might find the word offensive.

Our story …

Some day perhaps, I will learn my lesson.  Some day perhaps, I will accept the fact that Politics changes people … especially when they are disappointed for not getting their way … and sometimes even when they do get their way.

Some day … perhaps …

My sullen mood is the result of losing a favorite and – at one time – an all-welcoming “discussion” website where The News was the stated objective, and political discussion (i.e. arguing politics) its true driving force.  It was a crushing turn of events, where the toleration of all views – expressed respectfully – degenerated into a Safe Space for those unable to grasp the fundamentals of a democratic republic (i.e. the Electoral College) nor the results of its freely exercised elections.

internetcensorMy first exposure to WHAPS (Web-based Hyper-Active Political Sensitivity) occurred in the months between the first election of Barack H. Obama and his ensuing Inauguration.  It was December 2008, where after allowing almost eight years of Bush-bashing that a favored hobby site decided it was best for their WHAPS-afflicted egos if all Political discussion be banned from their rather extensive blogging and discussion forums.

The webmaster was completely fine with creating an individual Political Forum for high-strung political arguments that blossomed immediately after the 9-11 attacks, and grew quickly into a hotbed for web clicks.  For seven years we discussed every Bush43 shortcoming and defense thereof, with a pledge from Management to stay out.  The members were left to police their own mess.

That changed with the election of the first African-American President.  Suddenly management was jumping into the middle of all sorts of issues dealing with the expression of political opinion.

twitter_cards_potusIt became obvious after a series of rule changes and standard tightening that the real issue was being critical of that particular President!  Where Bush-bashing had been a contentious and profitable enterprise, suddenly any political reference to his successor would reflect badly on the Web Product.  Political criticism became a dirty word, simply because of who was occupying 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue!

Needless to say, making hay from discourse over National politics no longer sat well with the webmaster.  Neither did pointing out his hypocrisy.  Many were summarily kicked from the forums for no reason other than correctly observing the trend towards restricting discussion.

Certainly this phenomena is not restricted to one political side versus any other.  I’m sure it happens on both sides.  But my experience has been limited to seeing this on Liberal web sites.

I will not share the web addresses for either site which showered opposing opinion with such “Acceptance”.  I simply will not give them a free plug! 

Flash forward 8 years and the same phenomena plays out to an entirely different level.  Another website where – for 3 years – the open and honest discussion of everyday news and politics was not only encouraged, but lauded …. and mightily.  A site that touted talented and fact-based contributors from all along the political spectrum.  A website with a tight set of rules to govern recognition, process, and behavior as a way of maintaining an even keel.

Then came the come-from-ahead loss of Hillary Clinton and the rise of Donald Trump and unconventional politics.

imagesThose of us, who find ourselves excluded from another web-based meltdown, may well have concluded their website development effort was simply prelude.  The ultimate objective a vibrant marketplace dedicated to discussing the rise and exploits of the First Female President of the U.S. of A!

It seems Dreams do indeed die hard!

Us Outsiders started to notice trends in the way posts and articles were being touted and publicized through the website’s cute method of rewarding creative and precise writing.  You could not find a Republican/Conservative voice that was highlighted, despite the suitable presence of non-Liberal thought, unless they were addressing red-light cameras!

That was the REAL gist of the problem … Hurt feelings over the way they had lost an election so many of them thought was a foregone conclusion.

Of course they used those wretched present-day excuses for their organized ridding of anti-Hillary, anti-Liberal, pro-Constitution (that sticky Electoral College thing), and pro-Trump voices.  They simply set out like any authoritarian fascist movement and eliminated profile after profile of non-conforming voices.  Those who did nothing to offend, other than to voice an opinion unwanted by the fragile psych of the website entrepreneur, were invited to leave.  If they chose to say, they simply saw their profiles removed.

That last part is what happened to my profile.

My sin was simply identifying the trend and predicting the future look of so-called all-inclusive political forum.  I called out the Management on their obvious singular focus, and then challenged them to simply be honest about their intent and future plans.

That was enough to get my profile killed.

The website now touts itself as a “Resist Trump” website, where “Trumpkins” are no longer welcomed!

Internet-censorship-pros-and-cons

Now pogrom may not be the most sensitive way of describing what happened there.  But it accurately describes the intent and actions of those who undertook what was essentially an intellectual cleansing!

Certainly, it’s enough to make you wonder why some website entrepreneurs even attempt to take on subjects like Politics when they really have no stomach for dissenting opinion.