This is the final post in a series on Whitewater’s local politics of 2021.
Earlier posts at FREE WHITEWATER have addressed the limits of local politics in the community: local public (or powerful private) institutions have a limited power of action (with harmful actions likely to be more immediate than helpful ones).
It’s certain that a few officials can – and will – redirect whatever public money they can find to business special interests of their choosing. Their creed has no more appeal (or truth) than the Egyptian Book of the Dead does today: it may have meant something to someone once, but no majority anywhere adheres to it now.
More broadly: how very sad that those who spent years seeking political positions will find that the local limelight is no more than a dim, flickering flame. Pride isn’t public policy; pride is a character flaw.
Of other immediate challenges, notably excessive force against a few or closed government against many, or lowest-common-denominator educational standards, there are ever-present (and in some cases greater) risks.
There is also, only mentioned by allusion in this series, the change to local politics ideologically: a malevolent nativism slithers through Whitewater. It’s ill-thought and ill-read. Too many politicians in this city have responded with heads down and eyes averted. Many of Whitewater’s officeholders let this band go unchallenged through an entire campaign, to the detriment of the city.
This situation doesn’t require a series – it requires years of work.
Of community gains, however, one would be better off looking beyond local government or local notables.
What Whitewater needs most won’t be found through local politics.
Previously: Unofficial Spring Election Results, The Kinds of Conservatives in Whitewater, The City’s Center-Left, The City’s Few Progressives, The Campus, The Subcultural City, The Common Council, COVID-19: Skepticism and Rhetoric, Marketing, and Majoritarianism.