Reality Bites by James A. Norton

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You know things are messed up when you long for the days of local insanity.

Planes full of people going missing. Kids getting shot for no good reason. Muslims beheading people who won’t
convert. Famous people committing suicide. Ebola making a strong comeback. What’s that all about? These are some of the recent world news headlines – and those are just the more notable ones.

Why can’t we have real discord over the political divide that surely exists still in this city? Probably because it’s not a divide anymore, it’s merely a rising tide of change. It’s been like that for a while, unless you are completely daft. Maybe it’s a slow summer, but it seems that the only real political issue lately around here, and again maybe it’s only because it’s a ghost town out there, is the silly debate over supposed campaign finance reform recently brought before the Board of Aldermen. Why is this an issue? We already have the most strongest state political campaign finance laws in the country.

This isn’t 1979 people – it’s really difficult to get away with any kind of dirty back-room political shenanigans anymore. The term pay-to-play is so outdated in 2014 it’s silly. The future of change around here is hinged on real estate development and sustainable economic stability – which includes real estate developers. In a world where it’s next to impossible to hide anything more than $9,999 in cash and tax laws so strict you can’t hide a 3 year CD in your kids names – why place further restriction on a process that in 2014 isn’t really all that broken to begin with?

There’s no real shocker here – this city has benefited more in the forward thinking of it’s current Mayor than any Mayor I can remember – and I remember them all the way back to the infamous SLR. Fact is that Joe Curtatone’s strong and decisive leadership, coupled with his collaborative vision for the future for our city is turning out far better than I think anyone ever expected – and from all accounts, everyone seems to be happy. Well, except those politicians who can’t raise any money to mount any kind of solid campaign – and of course those that don’t need to in the first place. Those in the middle, meaning the rational thinkers, just shake their heads and wonder if there aren’t more pressing matters to debate.

Don’t get me wrong, I’d prefer to stay away from the hot topic du jour of what’s happening in Ferguson and I personally cringe at what’s happening again in Iraq – but if local campaign finance reform is still the only real issue that’s pressing locally, then I cringe about that as well. Where’s the conversation about empty storefronts and vacant properties on our main streets? What about making sure that local businesses have all the support they can get from local government – making it easier for those local businesses to return the favor by working with our school system more collaboratively?

The nitpickers and the non-believers need a wake up call. That doesn’t mean fall in line and do what the boss-man says. Get over yourselves. It means get out there and find out what the average every day resident of this city needs from their elected officials that will possibly make their lives better and ensure a better future for our kids and grandkids. Stop picking at a scab that will eventually heal if you let it – and stop making a fight where there just doesn’t need to be one.

See, the problem is that God gives men a brain and a penis, and only enough blood to run one at a time. That’s a metaphor, for those who need to run to Google (I used to say Websters) to figure shit out. #GMK

One thought on “Reality Bites by James A. Norton”

  1. “…It means get out there and find out what the average every day resident of this city needs from their elected officials that will possibly make their lives better and ensure a better future for our kids and grandkids. Stop picking at a scab that will eventually heal if you let it – and stop making a fight where there just doesn’t need to be one.”

    Word.

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