It's hard not to feel somewhat inspired by Aberdeen City Councilwoman Sandra Landbeck's admonishment of a member of her own political party who ran for mayor and lost. It's also hard not to feel a little embarrassed at her naivete on the subject of local politics.
Councilwoman Landbeck's comments last week taking to task the hardball campaign waged by challenging Republican Patrick McGrady against incumbent Democrat Mayor Mike Bennett echoed the sentiment that running for and holding public office are noble endeavors. This is the altruistic ideal attached to the democratic form of government and should be the goal of our system of electing leaders.
She went on to suggest that the noble calling of public service by competing public servants should engender a measure of decorum while campaigning.
The reality of the human condition, however, is that people feel strongly about politics and government, or they wouldn't run for office. Strong feelings often lead to strong words, and civility often ends up going out the window. Such is the nature of our system, dating from the earliest days of our nation.
Political campaigning may have an unsavory appearance to some, but we've been largely blessed as a nation in that rarely has extreme political speech led to violence or armed insurrection. When we, the people, can hear the voices of the extreme being raised, we have generally stopped following in fairly short order.
It would be nice if we could just calmly come to agreement on matters of public policy, like Landbeck suggested, but such a world isn't the one we live in.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times