It’s a middle time now, and if one were to think of this as chess, one would say we’re in the middle game. As with chess, the boundaries of that middle time are often nebulous, and are hard to define.
We may say that the beginning or opening is now over, as social media have pushed Whitewater from her former oligopoly of published information. A fawning professional press that coddled the mediocre and dishonest no longer counts for much; there are dozens of media by which information in small towns may circulate.
The creation of a status-quo news website in Whitewater has been a mixed success. It offers much in the way of local, apolitical announcements, but any pretensions to political influence are undercut by substandard composition and an often poor level of analysis. (All the silent editors in the world are still not enough.)
In this middle time, one can expect two things.
First, those few who have worked so hard, for so long, to assure that Whitewater will operate under business as usual likely believe that they can navigate a partly-changed terrain. They’ve never wanted open government, transparent deals, market transactions, or even-handed enforcement and administration.
They will never want these things, and they will not relent from pushing their own selfish & reactionary positions.
Second, they’re mistaken to think that Whitewater has changed somewhat, but will change no more. The greatest changes are yet ahead, dwarfing those we’ve yet seen.
A New Whitewater will be – and should be – a mix of ideologies, cultures, and generations.
It should not be – and by force of change will not be – a place of cronyism, self-dealing, bias, or third-tier reasoning in politics or economics.
People can get along well under any number of political differences (left, center, right, libertarian). The divide, however, between open and dark government, between fair deals and cronyism, between sound analysis and embarrassing error, is unbridgeable. One is fundamentally fair and admirable, the other fundamentally unfair and unworthy. There’s no room for a deal on these more fundamental matters.
Whitewater is in that middle time now, one that will last for years. It’s sure to be a period of twists and turns, an exciting and challenging time.
There’s every reason, though, to look ahead energy and optimism.