Why is it that I'm waking up 4 days before Christmas 2013 and it's starting to look to me like 1994? Because that's the feeling I'm starting to get a nagging feeling of, politically. Nationally, serious levels of distrust and disillusionment with the current system. Executive and legislative levels alike. Statewide, a very contentious Democratic primary race where none of the major candidates have exactly leapt out and captured the state's imagination.
And locally, land use is starting to become an issue of import in the local political races. I mean, they always are, but with the entry of Lisa Markovitz into the County Council 1 Democratic Primary, issues become ones of process as well as of policy and product. And that's a dangerous mix. You can read more about her entry into the field here.
My belief is that it's human nature to be more negative than positive. Positive takes work because it yields such greater rewards. And in the context of negativity, there is no more primal, easily tapped, deeper running emotion than fear. And it's half-brother, suspicion.
And to me, that's what people like the Citizens Working to F(ix) Howard County, of which Ms. Markovitz has been a big part, do. They have no evidence of anything being done wrong or inappropriate, but they point out perceived inconsistencies and suggest. In an attempt to bring suspicion. Then fear.
So what would a political campaign by such a person look like? Last we saw of it, Susan Gray was running for County Executive in 1994. John Taylor engaged in some of it when he ran for County Council, but I feel that John got a real wake up call into how politics works during his campaigns and that he realized he had to stand for something in order to win the public trust.
I am hopeful that Lisa Markovitz's campaign takes that latter tack. It is perfectly OK to deal in facts in a political campaign. Opinions too. But not in wild-eyed speculation and conspiracy theories. People deserve better than that from their candidates as they work to secure their trust and their vote. And while I can't speak for Ms. Markovitz personally yet, the organizations she works with have had many recent problems in that regard.
Happy Winter Solstice! Enjoy the 65 degrees. And let's be careful out there.