Just A Thought – About Last Night …

I was not surprised by the election results. As I roll back through all the letters to the editor and all the comments over the last few months, there is a pretty clear pattern to see.The louder the protest, the weaker the results.

It isn’t as if virtue has triumphed and evil has been vanquished – or vice versa. Local elections bring out local passions, and it’s great that people were so focused and so committed.

The downside was that of all the people in the city who truly care about politics (and there are not a whole lot of us ) there was a slender minority that just went over the top.

The name calling, the back and forth, it was just not the way to go. No one changed anyone else’s mind with these tactics. Dialogue is important, but it has to stay clear;  would you be willing to listen to someone making the comments that you are making?

The outside influences had a backlash. The more that one candidate was targeted by sign stealing and infamous yellow flyers, the stronger the community support became. I was very surprised to encounter not just one, but three people who all said, on election day, that they had changed their mind about who they were voting for. Each one of them was so deeply offended by the “stock photo” flyer, they said, nope, I’m not giving them my vote, not anymore.

It seemed to be a reflection of my own voting tastes – whoever is putting big glossy flyers in my mailbox three times a week is someone with too much money to spend on this, and I don’t want to give them my vote.

Conversely, the people without any budget to spend were the ones who ended up on the bottom of the returns. There has to be enough support in the community to bankroll you and volunteer for you, or you are just running for your own entertainment.

The balance between too much money (clearly not Culver City based) and not enough money (no base in Culver City) left those candidates that finished in the middle simply out voted. That happens in any political race.

The candidates who won were those who ran for the most sincere reason – that our schools are for our kids, and that everything else is commentary.

So, as we allow the dust to settle and the smoke to clear – and as we gear up for the City Council race in April – let’s make it a priority to stay civilized, and consider how we are putting the message out there. We are always an example. Let’s be a good one.

www.culvercitysymphony.org

6 Comments

  1. Well said Judith.
    There was certainly disproportionate noise and negativity against the candidates that finally won last night. Even more some of the loosing candidates received support from large organizations outside Culver City like UTLA. Outside forces didn’t and shouldn’t sway our elections. My faith in people seeing through that nonsense is being restored.

  2. “I was very surprised to encounter not just one, but three people who all said, on election day, that they had changed their mind about who they were voting for. Each one of them was so deeply offended by the “stock photo” flyer, they said, nope, I’m not giving them my vote, not anymore.”

    I don’t know how big of an impact that particular flyer played in the grand scheme of things, but it sure does seem to’ve been an unforced error. First of all, it felt generally presumptuous (to me, anyway) for that flyer to declare “Our teachers agree!” when most every Culver City parent personally knows a CCUSD teacher supporting a candidate or candidates outside the CCFT slate. And, yeah, in retrospect, it seems to’ve been a poor choice to put “Our teachers agree!” over a generic photo of Canadian print models… all between the ages of 22 and 39. Culver City parents know what their kids’ teachers look like.

    The net impression was one of inauthenticity. I bet CCFT would take that one back, if it could. But again, there’s no way to really gauge how big of an impact that one off-key flyer made in the grand scheme of things. Probably not that big.

  3. Well written sentiment Judith! This year I decided to write what so many people I know discussed privately. It appeared that for most letters I wrote a rebuttal four times the lenght…almost like a 4 to 1 workd count! As you wrote “The louder the protest, the weaker the results.”

    Thank you for providing this forum for our community to air our views.

    Thank you to ALL the candidates. ALL are great people. It is a positive testimony that Culver City has such a wealth of people willing to endure the rigors of our town’s politics.
    Alan Elmont

  4. Judith, thank you for your reflections and your call to our better selves as we move forward.

    To All: Campaigns are a time of passion and action. Their very nature encourages us to view events through a partisan lens. Now that the election is over, and we have elected three quality board members, we have the opportunity for a moment of reflection and introspection.

    There was no shortage of negativity and distortion coming from many directions during this campaign. If, after reflection and introspection, we conclude that it was aimed primarily at just one group, or primarily at just the candidates we supported, then I believe we:
    a. Misconstrue the profoundly divisive nature of the just-concluded campaign; and

    b. Miss an opportunity for healing that will help all who care deeply about our schools work together effectively as the new board begins its tenure.

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