July 23, 2017… Day 185
It’s Sunday, and I’m finally contemplating my mail-in ballot for local elections. This makes it painfully obvious that I haven’t paid enough attention to local and state politics lately.
Pre-2016, I had a low-key method to decide who to vote for in the smaller elections. I absorbed some cursory sense of the candidates through half-listening to the radio, skimming the paper, and seeing what Facebook friends said. Then, close to the election, I went back and read the Stranger interviews and the Stranger round-up. Usually I would take the time to consider dissenting liberal/progressive opinions to the Stranger take. In times of great overwhelm, I have voted the straight Stranger ticket off the cheat sheet without knowing much about anything. I’m sorry. It seemed better than not voting at all.
But since 2016, a couple things happened. I stopped trusting the Stranger and my fellow Democrats nearly as much, and I became FLOODED with new political knowledge. I know so much more about how government works. I know the names of political reporters and editors at news outlets all over. I know the names of representatives and Senators from all over the country. And scads of political operatives. And I don’t even have TV. I know just enough to be permanently confused because there is so much more to know. So even though local and state politics were supposed to be a major focal point for us resistniks, I dropped the ball.
My dismay over the Ed Murray sex abuse news has made me even less eager to follow the mayoral race closely, not that that’s an excuse.
And the information coming in isn’t always helping. For instance, this was on Twitter a few days ago, about what people who care the most about Seattle mass transit want:
Three different candidates. Thanks, that helps.
Of those three names, Nikkita Oliver leaps off the page as the only one that’s familiar to me. In a social, emotional, ideological, knee-jerk way, I want to vote for Nikkita Oliver. She’s everywhere in my social media feed. People I like and trust are boosting her and hosting open houses for her. Ijeoma Oluo likes her. MaChell Duma likes her. They are people I trust, and the fact that they aren’t Berniecrats makes me less wary of Nikkita being in The People’s Party (I’m not sure what that means, but it sounds Bernie-ish).
The old me would just be like “what the heck” and vote for Nikkita Oliver, based on that much info. But the new me doesn’t want to be knee-jerk. The new me worries there are hidden levels of danger that I don’t understand. I’m worried I’m blind to a a bigger picture and all its pitfalls. I don’t want to be like that. I just want to vote for the woman of color who wears big earrings says she’s looking out for renters. But I also don’t want to be an asshole if that vote is a bad tactical move in ways that would become clear later. This is what the election did to me.
I used to be very pro-Kshama Sawant, for instance. Yeah, let’s have a socialist on the city council! Throw a real leftist in the mix. It’ll be good for us. Now I’m leary of Kshama Sawant. I don’t care that Washington is a safe blue state. She used her voice to delegitimize Hillary Clinton in the months before the general election. I don’t buy her anymore as someone who was serious about avoiding harm to her neighbors.
So, today I’m reading up about Nikkita Oliver and the other candidates.
Meanwhile in shitshowville: