Oh No! He Said The "R" Word!

"I do wish to point out that Gene is the Republican candidate for this Council seat. When this area last elected a Republican, well, there was no City Council. And even then, I doubt we had a Republican Alderman."
- Lew Fidler, SheepsheadBites.com, 7/12/09

So, it looks like Lew wants you to know that I'm a Republican.

Well, so do I! And I think those of you who have read this regularly know this already. I don't hide that I'm Republican - recently, I've been reveling in it! (Or you might have read about it in Courier Life's "Borough Politics" section.)

See, Lew views the "R" word as a bad thing, and he's hoping everyone else will, too. Like he said, this Council has never been filled by a (gulp!) Republican before! After all, if you're "red" in NYC, you might as well be politically "dead", according to conventional wisdom.

Conventional wisdom has a way of falling apart around me.

You see, it was conventional wisdom not to make waves and fight the rampant over-development without your Councilman leading the way. But we, the community, did it anyway. And we won.

Conventional wisdom also says that parks can only be built if there was some built-in concession function associated with it. But we, the community, did it anyway. And we won.

Now, conventional wisdom dictates that the scarlet "R" is a losing proposition. So let's see how that holds up. I think it won't.

I'm a firm believer in the idea that Community Sees No Party. The community can recognize their own, and appreciate when one of their own step up for them.

Community also loves an underdog - and who's a bigger underdog than a community member who's volunteered for years taking on "the establishment".

On the other hand, the community loathes those who abuse their trust, or try to tell them what's best for them - especially if they're perceived to be separate from the community. And even more so if they manipulate the system for their own benefit, or in a way that doesn't represent the community's will.

Like, I dunno... voting to extend the term of your employment in direct contravention of the will of the community that voted twice for a limit - the same term limit which you yourself used to originally get into office, thereby turning your back on all the people you supposedly represent.


The above notwithstanding, you can learn some things about me from the word "Republican" next to my name.

It means that I'm principled - anyone willing to voluntarily join any minority has to be. It means that I don't bend with the wind, I stand up for what's important, and I'm willing to swim against the current for what I think is right. In these times, we need more representatives challenging the "establishment" in order to bring new ideas and fresh perspectives to the discussion. Otherwise, you end up with a stagnant system that doesn't change.

Which leads into my next point that you can learn from the "R" near my name. It also means that I'm not a cog in "the machine" that is South Brooklyn politics. I'm beholden to no one except my community - in fact, I think it's time that someone took a crowbar to the machine and tore it down! Machine politics is meant to help the machine - any external benefit to anyone else is coincidential or accidental.

On paper, the fight is a slaughter. If you need a visual, think of it this way:

This is the "machine", it's so big, it can't even fit on the page...

and this is "me"...

So how do you take down "the machine" when you have the equivalent of a pea-shooter? Well, I'm not giving away my playbook. You'll have to wait and see!

But let's start with a new premise:

Maybe it'll take someone with the "R" word next to their name to bring that message forward.


Lisanne! said...

I suppose that Lew Fielder is totally devoid of any valid argument as to why you shouldn't be on the City Council. But he's engaging in wishful thinking, being a Republican doesn't have to be the kiss of death at all. The main challenge I think you have is waking up voters to lazy to think. But having followed your activities for awhile I'd think that you're the only person capable of achieving the goal of unseating an incumbent in southern Brooklyn.

But I'm not going to vote for you. You can blame the geniuses that draw up the district lines for that one. It's such a pity, because I'd love to see you unseat Mike Nelson.

I'll settle for the comfort of knowing that there will be at least one person in the council who cares about the things most important to my mind. Things that politicians only pretend to be concerned about.

I've got my fingers crossed that voters can figured out where the Republican column is. If memory serves me well its conveniently placed right next to the Democratic column.


Gene Berardelli said...

Hi Lisanne!

Thank you for the kind words :-)

You hit the nail right on the head - I have to get people talking and thinking. We all have to shake off the apathy about everything we do... in these times, we can't afford to be apathetic about anything, most of all who leads us and makes the critical decisions that lie ahead!

Dan said...

nice star trek reference