Reality Bites by James A. Norton

 

We do not ask for your poor or your hungry. We do not want your tired and sick. It is your corrupt we claim.

 

I was working the other day on a project, and I had random thoughts and memories running through my head. They spanned over 40 years and encompassed a lot of politics and more specifically, politicians in Somerville. I was probably triggered by spending a little time with former Mayor Gene Brune last weekend amongst mutual friends. I remarked to the people who were there that Gene is one of the very few politicians I have known both politically and personally from when I was a small child that I am still friendly with today.

 

It struck me today that Gene did what the smart politicians have done over the years – make an impact, get some stuff done, then move on. In his case, he moved to a county seat, Mayor Capuano after him moved on to become a member of Congress, Mayor Gay moved back into private life and what has Mayor Curtatone done?

 

Hang around too long. That’s the problem. He has been a great mayor in years past, but should have moved on to a higher position somewhere. He exploded onto the political scene as someone more liberal than John Buonomo, but more approachable because he was a kid from the neighborhood – a good old boy – a Villen. So like others before him, liberal as they were, he got a pass. The old school crowd liked him, because they started to be picked off by the “progressives” in the 90’s and the early 00’s and with him at the helm one day, all would be right in the land of old school meets liberal minded progressiveness.

 

Now don’t get me wrong, marching down the path of liberalism suits a lot of folks around here. This is Liberal Nirvana, after all. It was like a match made in heaven. Good mayor finds national voice by turning what was already a hotbed of liberalism into a frenzied, Koolaid drinking mass of people who have long forgotten the old school Villens that are still here (or gone, but not far away).

 

The same old same old routine of doing things like nothing has ever changed, and then being outraged at having to explain yourself in 2017 has now created an environment akin to what caused Trump to be elected President in the first place. People want change, but for the right reasons.

 

They want developers to held accountable in a market where profits are more important than creating affordable housing. They want to be able to understand why a stupid banner that sends the wrong kind of message to its residents and the police that are charged with their safety is still on City Hall moths and months later. They want to know why a rally is held to support policies that are far removed from the every day citizen with these city borders instead of taking care of business right here at home, in this city.

 

People thought I was crazy when I said early on that Trump had a chance, because while he was far from perfect as a person, nevermind a candidate for President, he still wants this county to become great again by taking care of veterans, elderly, creating jobs and housing that is affordable. A lot of those people not only voted for Trump, but now see how taking care of business at home is more important that being bogged down in the mire of bureaucracy on a global scale.

 

Which is why it’s time. Time for me to make an early prediction, like I did so early in the Presidential race that people actually threatened me and created a hate page in my name. My prediction is that it is time for this mayor to move along. It is time for new blood. It is time for someone to step up and continue on the good work the last several mayors have done, including the present one.

 

Now is the time to move away from threatening business people and residents because they speak up about what they think is wrong. Now is the time to not parade around with police escorts because you think you might be assaulted. Now is the time for this city to wake up – and choose someone who will take what has been good work and maybe reach back into the community to those forgotten folk who are still here – still somehow live here, own a business here, spend time here.

 

It’s time for change. People need to speak up. It’s not just me, or a couple of my friends, out of 85,000+ people who reside here – get involved, stop the shenanigans and the flip flopping from old school thinking to neo-liberal idealism. It’s ok to pray at both churches, just don’t forget the parishioners.

 

I thought of a joke on a blog from over a decade ago – someone had coined the acronym ABC – Anyone But Curtatone. It doesn’t seem all that funny anymore. It kinda sounds pretty serious. It kinda sounds good right about now. It’s time to drain the swamp here in the Ville, people. #GMK #GTBTP

 

 

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