Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Down With O.P.P. (Obligatory Political Post)
There was an article on today’s New York Post web site about a story that I’ve seen in a few other places: the increase in crime rates in many major metropolitan areas. Now, we all remember the “It’s the Economy, Stupid” mantra that wheeled Clinton into the White House (along with a chunk of votes taken out of the traditional GOP electorate by Ross Perot). Putting cops on the street and reducing crime was one of Bill’s major platform initiatives, as well.
Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, however, have consumed our national mind (and treasury). It remains to be seen if any of the current candidates, or even the wannabe/gonna-be/possibly candidates, for president can bring them selves back down to Earth to forthrightly address domestic issues such as burgeoning inner city crime, immigration and (un)employment, or public education.
John Edwards has (accidentally) announced he is running for President. The place chosen for the formal announcement is a location involving domestic destruction, rather than a foreign policy institute or think tank. Though Hillary Clinton, Edwards and Oba---er, um, the certain ethnic candidate who’s name I promised not to mention this week---get all the media spotlight, the real urban political struggles and work lie with women and men not in the constant spotlight, like Mayor Cory Booker of Newark, NJ.
Anyone can run around the country giving feel-good, empty speeches and dishing out platefuls of platitude to the charismatically starved masses. Real leadership as an elected official is getting into the trenches, as Mayor Booker is attempting, and dealing with the daily bloodshed and social disintegration cited in the Post article.
Let the mainstream media and the NAACP give out useless Image Awards to the poster-boys-and-girls-of-the-month. Will the Democrats, Washington politicos of both parties, African-American so-called “leaders,” and the press be there to congratulate Mayor Booker and those like him, if they set off an urban transformation in reducing crime and violence?