13 July 2010

My One Glaring Gripe With Washington, D.C.

You won't learn my political affiliation here. I'm not sure that more than three people in my life actually know how I'm registered. What I will tell you about my political philosophy is this: strength and progress comes from having many voices in the room. Differing points of views, dissenting opinions, and constructive arguments is how we get what is best for the community as a whole. Nothing good comes from echo chambers.

This has been the District's major flaw since Home Rule and will continue to be so long as District residents cling to a party that has consistently failed them, with very few exceptions.

The Democratic Party has gripped the city's government in a stranglehold that would make most of the world's governing regimes blush. The city has seen five mayors since self-governance ... all of them Democrat (though one of them governed like he was a Republican). All seven Council Chairmen have been Democrat. Over half of the At-Large Councilmembers have been Democrat. All individual Ward Councilmembers have been Democrat. Out of the thirteen current City Councilmembers, two are Independent (with very left-leaning tendencies to the point that they might as well be Democrats).

Where is the diversity of ideas? Where is the public discourse that only comes from multi-party governance? Where is the exchange of ideas necessary for the internal checks and balances of representative government?

What has been so great about this Democratic rule that we, the city, allow them to keep control?

Please, somebody tell me. Because all I've seen in my short life has been backroom dealings, cronyism, and other such "entitled" behaviors from those who are supposed to be working for us, not lording over us.

Look, I know that not all Democrats are bad public servants. I also know that primates have the ability to write masterpieces and that non-Timex watches can tell time ... sometimes we get lucky and put good people into office.

But it would be nice if we, the residents of the District of Columbia, try something different. Look at all of the candidates running for office, not just the Democratic ones. Judge them by what they say they will do for us. Hold them to those promises. And stop electing people based on their party affiliation or what they did decades ago or the fact that they're the longest serving member on the Council currently.

Let's get some real diversity in our city government. Let's get a real exchange of ideas and solutions. Let's make our local media cover all of the candidates so that we, as the voting public, can make truly informed decisions on who we want in our government.

Let's make our government work for us, with our best interests in mind. Let's have a government as diverse as our city is becoming. Let's be the model and the envy of the world.

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