Local Doesn’t See Red or Blue

Local doesn’t see red or blue.

Main and Mulberry recently had the opportunity to partner with a local magazine to host a debate, for the public to evaluate the local officials running for Aldermen positions (think City Council members) in the upcoming election cycle. It was a rewarding experience that falls right in line with our mission of supporting everything local.

I quickly learned that there is a key difference in local elections: the candidates don’t declare a political party. As I had the pleasure of helping to develop the questions that would be asked of the candidates during the debate, the first item I proposed was to ask each candidate to declare if they are registered with a political party, mainly the GOP or DNC. My thought process was that it would immediately give the public an understanding of the candidates’ positions on major issues. But that was short-sighted.

I see now the beauty of this process. As the candidates have no publicized party affiliation, the public must evaluate them solely based on their words and actions. Potential voters must listen intently during the debate and perform research on the candidates to understand their positions on the issues. One can’t simply go to the voting booth and pick red or blue. Further, the candidates have no “base” they must appease, no stance they must adopt, and there’s fewer opportunities to run a campaign based solely on mudslinging, rather than on views and positions. The issues, personalities and values of each candidate are on the forefront.

Not declaring a political party doesn’t just affect campaigning. Not beholden to a party, the elected official has more flexibility to govern in the way that they – the actual person who the people voted for – feel best. Now, that’s an interesting concept.

Let’s be clear, I understand the party-less concept cannot easily scale past local officials. This isn’t a pitch for doing away with political parties. It is, however, an illustration of how things at a smaller scale can be more genuine and more personalized.

Focusing on our neighbors, small businesses, churches and our local government is a real opportunity to improve both our community as a whole and our daily lives as individuals. And that, my friends, can scale all the way from Main Street to Wall Street.

Main and Mulberry
Small Towns Tell Big Stories.


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