Daily Bread for 4.6.22: 4 Points On Whitewater’s Spring ’22 Election

Good afternoon.

Wednesday in Whitewater will be cloudy with afternoon showers and a high of 54.  Sunrise is 6:26 AM and sunset 7:27 PM for 13h 01m 00s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing crescent with 26.9% of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 1831, the Sauk Indians leave Illinois & Wisconsin:

On this date, in the spring of 1831, the Sauk Indians led by Chief Keokuk left their ancestral home near the mouth of the Rock River and moved across the Mississippi River to Iowa to fulfill the terms of a treaty signed in 1804. Many of the tribe, however, believed the treaty to be invalid and the following spring, when the U.S. government failed to provide them with promised supplies, this dissatisfied faction led by Black Hawk returned to their homeland on the Rock River, precipitating the Black Hawk War.

Whitewater has passed, survived perhaps, another election season. The city and the school district came through this better than they might have, at least better than some communities have. Four observations immediately below:

Before and Above Politics. As much as politics matters, a reminder: Whitewater’s needs exceed the political. The community faces challenges that the conventionally political (and certainly local politics) cannot overcome. This understanding of Whitewater underlies any serious commentary on the city. If one thinks that politics matters most to Whitewater’s well-being, then one grasps the community poorly. We’ve slipped past a local political cure.

A difficult situation requires a different remedy. These views are not new with me. See An Oasis Strategy (2016) and Waiting for Whitewater’s Dorothy Day (2020).

One grapples with politics to avoid a worse condition.

We have for now avoided what might have been that worse condition. See What if They Got Everything They Wanted?

No Wave. While 2021 was a local wave election in Whitewater, 2022 was not. There were no big surprises. The conservative populists lost in contested races for city and county seats (with incumbent Allen and newcomer Stanek winning easily), and the school board contests were predictably close for three of the four candidates (Aranda, Kienbaum, Kromholz). 

The ideological balance within the city and school district is, in the main, unchanged. 

Misunderstanding Whitewater. Local conservative populists misread a single election year (2021) into a supposed multi-year trend. They likely spent too much time talking to each other and not enough time thinking about community sentiment. Whitewater simply doesn’t have the same energy and enthusiasm for politics as the populists do. See Energy and Exhaustion.

It doesn’t matter that Whitewater was once more politically enthusiastic, so to speak; it matters what Whitewater is like now.

A populist vibe for city and county seats, even when concealed under a blanket of platitudes (‘common sense,’ ‘back to basics,’ etc.), was always going to be unwelcome within the city. See Whitewater’s Still Part of America.

Yard Signs. Yard signs are a part of political expression, but expression isn’t effectiveness, as the signs themselves don’t cast ballots.  Truly, that many signs in Whitewater weren’t about persuasion, but were rather a kind of crude performance art. Fair enough, but what did these landlords want — to make a statement or for their candidates to win a city election? 

A whole lotta trees gave their lives for nothin’.

Bat Flies Into Plane Preparing for Take Off:

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1 year ago

[…] rather a broad desire to avoid the tension and turmoil they bring. See Energy and Exhaustion and 4 Points On Whitewater’s Spring ’22 Election. […]