We Don’t Give A Damn About Apathy
Baltimore City Paper hits the nail on the head. Sheila Dixon will be the next mayor. Not because Kieffer Mitchell or my dog Maggie couldn’t do a better job but because there aren’t enough people in Baltimore who care about who they are voting for to make any difference.
Baltimore’s race for mayor is now in full swing, and the lead challenger to short-time incumbent Sheila Dixon is about to tee off on what he thinks will be one of the campaign’s defining issues: corruption. But what happens next illustrates the weakness of 11th District City Councilman Keiffer Mitchell Jr.’s campaign strategy, and in a way of the city itself–or, at least, of its political class. Hating on corruption only works if the masses rally ’round. If they don’t, then the money people–the people who depend on government contracts and favor–will dominate.
It isn’t like Kieffer Mitchell is a heavyweight. He isn’t. But, then, neither was the District’s Adrian Fenty.
As City Paper points out, Dixon is skating to victory on a miasma of corruption and conflicts of interest that would have felled any candidate with even a vestigial sense of shame. Mitchell can’t capitalize because the message of being against corruption simply doesn’t resonate with a majority of city voters.
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The upside to democracy is pretty much the same as the downside. The people are governed by the people they elect. Baltimore has forfeited right to complain about the slow motion trainwreck that it is on the verge of electing.