Okay, so the latest special election – pitting Democratic City Councilman Lew Fidler versus Republican attorney David Storobin for former State Senator Carl Kruger’s seat – has been a particularly hard-fought one. And most of that fight was below the belt.
We’re not going to get into details. Mainly because we’re as disgusted as most of you at seeing what should have been a race on local issues turn into a klustersuck of identity warfare, dividing or alienating significant portions of this community.
But that doesn’t mean we should take the all-too-tempting path of turning our backs on the process altogether. In fact, a careful consideration of the campaigns’ direction could lead one to conclude that the reason it got as twisted and dreary as it did is because too many of us – sane, unaffiliated moderates that comprise the district’s majority – are not only disengaged at the local level, but that our voting rates during special elections are so low that it forces campaigns to play to radical bases that vote as a bloc.
So, no, turning our backs on the process is no longer a solution to this problem, but an enabler of it.
So if you want a better performance next time around – which isn’t very far away, given that the winner will again be up for election this November – make sure to vote tomorrow, and prove to the powers that be that their communities are more diverse than their campaigns suggest.