Saturday, September 02, 2006


When I started telling friends I was running for City Council more than half of them said things like, "No, for real?" I'm not above playing an elaborate gag, but I had to ask why it seemed so unlikely that someone who is always talking about local issues might actually seek office. In a word-- cynicism. People are so convinced that every level of government is broken that they can't imagine a serious person wanting to waste their time participating.

I think it takes an enormous ego to participate in national politics. You have to believe that you can by force of will or manipulation of power change the course of an entire nation. But is it really an act of egotism to believe that one person might make a difference in a city of 6000 people?

I'm not going to give a sermon on public service. Well, in a way I am. I vote and debate national issues with friends and try to convince them to participate, but I can at some level understand their sense of futility. But if you don't like what's going on locally can you really make the same arguments? Is it that hard to imagine convincing a bunch of your neighbors that you have a good idea? Yes, institutions have inertia, and there are plenty of people who will never change their minds-- but you don't have to win every time to make a difference.

Hey, blogs are supposed to have an occasional rant.


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