So, I was feeling the literary & creative juices flowing this morning, but I hit a wall. The dreaded “writer’s block.” So, I turned to who I always turn to for inspiration – all of YOU!
I posted on Twitter: “tweet me a word. i will take the 1st ten words and draft a blog post using all of them. kinda like political freestyling.”
I posted on Facebook: “experiment time. post a word onto this status update. i will take the first 10 words from FB and Twitter and compose a blog using all 20 of them. kinda like political freestyling.”
I truly, honestly, sincerely did not think anyone would post anything or tweet anything. Well, about two minutes after posting I had received my 20 words. Actually, I received more, but will hold myself to the original deal of taking the first 10 from each social media site.
So, without any further ado. . .I present to you the Social Media/Friends & Followers/Mad Libs-esqu/8 Mile-influenced/Politically-inspired Blog Post, “Cupcakes & Salsa.” Enjoy.
Who wants cupcakes & salsa? No one. Mixing cupcakes and salsa sounds disgusting – assuming that the salsa is not FRUIT salsa. For the sake of argument, let’s pretend that it is not. Let’s pretend that it is burn-your-mouth, super-chunky, green salsa. And let’s assume that the cupcake is cookies and cream with LOADS of tasty icing. Mouth watering yet?
Both of the aforementioned foodstuffs are delicious, but not when they are mixed together (I only assume they are gross when mixed, as I have never mixed them. Although, my friend’s sister did used to like putting Peeps and salsa in a bowl, sticking them in the microwave, and then stirring the concoction and eating it. She claims it was delicious. So be it).
And so it goes with politics. See the connection? No? Not a problem, read on.
Mixing cupcakes and salsa in the kitchen is like mixing self-aggrandizing motives and representation in the political arena. They don’t mix.
I have said numerous times on this site, at events, on the phone, and elsewhere that if politics is NOT about planning for and implementing policies to create a better future for our children, then it is not worth it’s weight in salt. For, when politics is NOT about the future, it is reduced to the lowest common denominator and becomes about self. It becomes an amorphous entity that lacks consistent definition and purpose. It becomes useless.
But when politicians get outside of themselves and look at the issues before them as opportunities to plan for a better world – 10, 20, 100 years down the line – then it becomes something beautiful. It gets elevated to the highest realm of public service and has the potential to change communities, States, and Nations. It has the potential to desegregate schools, allow women the right to vote, separate Church & State, and perhaps to even prevent gender discrimination in the workplace, the courthouse, and the wedding hall.
It is this latter definition of politics that got me interested in running for Public Office when I was young. Through my studying of Political Science in high school, to the drafting of my senior thesis on New Journalism in college, I have found myself inspired by those who took a chance on fighting for the voiceless – by those who sought inclusion in all of their policy decisions – by those who realized that we have to ALL come together to change the world.
Now, changing the world is a tall order, and is something for which I do not aim. I aim to change my small corner of the world here in the Ohio River Valley. If one life can be positively impacted by my campaign and resulting victory then I will count myself as one of the “blessed.” I have fought for the trust of those who have lost the ability to trust and feel that I have earned it. I have sat in board rooms and grown frustrated over stale ideologies while those who are suffering still suffer. It is time to create policies at the macro-level that show those in our community who have grown dissatisfied with the process that the process STILL works – or, rather, that it CAN work again if brave leaders take the reins.
I have told numerous stories on this site about things such as parking, streetcars, budgets, and more. I have told these stories in the context of how they can all be utilized to make the future better. I have not told them in a manner that will get me elected (although that would be nice). In fact, I have told them in an honest way that may prevent me from getting elected (which would not be nice). But, as my friend Ryan told me, “keep your integrity intact, and even if you lose, you win.” I like that. There is a lot of truth in that.
I see no reason to change who I am now simply because I am a politician. Researching facts, distilling information, and then seeking to teach others how to use that information to have an awesome life is what I have always done, and it is what I will continue to do. There is NO justification to operate otherwise in the political arena. Unless politics is about something else to the individual politician. And, once again, when it is, it is bad business.
Politics is gross when it is cupcakes & salsa. It is even grosser when you throw a nice, huge chunk of ham on top. Or, for the purposes of this analogy, not only throwing a healthy does of self-aggrandizing ideology on top of representation, but adding to that the premise that you are making decisions that actually BETTER people’s lives. This, my friends, is the insidious, devious, super-nasty trifecta of evil.
I have said numerous, negative things about the Coalition Opposed to Additional Spending and Taxes (COAST) on this site, and I feel badly about that. So I won’t do it anymore, even though it would be appropriate at this time to let you know that their stalling of the political process time & time again has actually cost the taxpayers more money – even though they purport to want to SAVE the taxpayers money. I pray that those who misrepresent the people whom they say they represent can perform the act of self-forgiveness that is necessary for them to get back on track. For it will take all of us working together to make this a better place.
I promised myself I would not do that. Be mean to COAST, that is. Ok, I apologize. It’s just that the fact that they get away with supposedly representing the very people for whom they are making life more difficult is remarkable. George Orwell referred to this phenomenological construct as “Double Think.” Check out page 32 of 1984 for more info.
It is time for an evolution of the political process. Not necessarily a revolution, just an evolution. There are many good things about the way our system is run, but it is time to fight for its integrity so that the future can be bright for the children. It is time for cowards and ideologues to not be rewarded for their flaws. It is time to demand better of our elected leaders on every level for ALL of us. Information is passed down to the voter in a force-feeding apparatus. Rarely is comprehensive data available – let alone wording on ballot issues that makes ANY sense. Not everything can be as transparent as politicians would like, but our motives CAN be transparent. THAT is where I am going with this.
The voter will NEVER have the same access to information as the elected leader. But when the voter also does not have access to an individual politician’s motives, we are talking about something else entirely – we are talking about cupcakes & salsa. I want to give you a cupcake without salsa. Or a bowl of salsa without a cupcake. You decide what kind of mood you’re in.
What I mean is that I will always let you know where I stand and why I stand there. I will fight for peace as I have always done, and I will do it openly and proudly.
So, put aside your cupcakes and salsa, grab an effervescent drink, lay in the hammock, and enjoy the fact that Spring is here. A new day for Cincinnati Politics.
Giving credit where credit is due:
@kodzos – “comprehensive”
@tighekevin – “amorphous”
@siobhaneileen88 – “inclusion”
@MakingUpMinds – “justification”
@AndyCiarnello – “trust”
@mattrisher – “brave”
@ScottDean24 – “ham”
@b_gschmidt – “effervescent”
@AllisonHoehn – “truth”
@saltsmja – “trifecta”
Jacob Vener – “peace”
Raul Watson – “salsa”
Jordan Bucey – “cupcakes”
Grace Lobono – “remarkable”
Gina Maglionico – “hammock”
Traci Day Wallis – “cowards”
Tom Laub – “gender”
Josh Pohl – “evolution”
Nick Corey – “Snap!”
Kent Landis Hartman – “self-forgiveness”