Bleating partisans have taken to social media, email, and other channels to decry whatever opponent they may have from making last weekend's Ellicott City flood "a political issue". As many a Presidential Tweet would say: Sad!
Folks, Ellicott City IS a political issue. It was one a week ago, before the latest storm came to the town. And it'll be one in the next local and state election in 2022. And in every state and local election to come for the foreseeable future.
I think maybe what people are trying to say is, "Stop playing the blame game with respect to Ellicott City?" Because there already has been finger pointing going on. Which is also, naturally stupid. If everyone in this community owns the success-- and my goodness, everyone who could in this county certainly crammed into every photo opp at every opening on Main Street-- then we all own it when things don't go well. We all have to do our part to be part of the solution.
And there is where the political space should be operating right now. In terms of finding solutions. In terms of knowing what questions to ask, what answers to expect, and what policy directions should be taken in light of those answers.
Which sounds reasonable and logical, does it not? Of course it does. Except, it's not how politics works. No, it's much more about buzzwords and spewing nonsense. Like, "how dare XXXXXXX make Ellicott City a political issue?"
So the best option that exists in talking about Ellicott City right now is to talk about opportunity. It's to talk about how we can, as a community, best ensure that the risk of further loss of life and property due to Ellicott City flooding is mitigated. It's to talk about how flooding affects this county overall. Because let's remember this. Obviously Ellicott City had the most notorious flooding last week. But it didn't have the only flooding. US29 in Columbia and US1 in Elkridge flooded over for awhile on Sunday, as well. And many basements across the county flooded as well. These are also risks that we have to turn to our local representatives, and the people running to replace or follow them, for answers. Answers that look ahead; behind is background, and background may be important, but it is just that. Background.
Oh, and our friends who are running for state office aren't immune either. Pretty certain that state help is going to be needed to assist Ellicott City in the near and long term. How are our Delegates and Senators going to assess the worthiness of requests for aid from Howard County? What role will they play in designing and evaluating the ideas that come from local officials and the public? And how are they going to look at flooding as a statewide concern, as localized flooding occurred close to HoCo last week, in Baltimore City, Baltimore County, and Anne Arundel County. Because what's provided for one jurisdiction has to be provided for all, right? Right?
So not only is Ellicott City and the flooding therein a valid local issue, it may very well be THE one issue about which every single candidate for County Council, County Executive, State Senator, and State Delegate ought to be prepared to answer. In depth. If they don't have a clue at this point about their approach or philosophy towards this issue? They don't deserve your vote. Plain and simple.
The absolutely most ridiculous thing anyone can do would be to deny that this is not a legitimate political issue. The second most ridiculous thing would be for anyone to ignore it. Candidates who do either must be rejected.
Let's be careful out there.
#hocopolitics #MDpolitics #hocoblogs #ECStrong2018