It’s election season again. Not that it ever really ends, but we’re less than a month away from Election Day. So, the usual decorations (lawn signs, billboards, Op-Eds) are out in full force. I always find it a bit funny that people pay less attention to odd-year elections. They have a bigger impact on our day to day lives than other elections, but that’s neither here nor there. My medium sized suburb of Newington is electing our mayor, town council, and board of education. In recent elections, the parties have gotten a lot more coordinated. All the Republicans have matching themed signs, plug the whole slate, etc. The Democrats do the same thing. The incumbent mayor is a Republican. And the messaging across all of the Republican signs is that we should vote Republican to, “Keep it going.”
This strikes me as perhaps the strangest rallying cry ever. They don’t say, or even hint at, what “it” is. And, the past few years have been really, pretty, objectively crappy. So, I’ve been wracking my brains trying to find out what the Republicans in my town want to keep going so I can decide if I should vote for them or not. Here’s what I’ve been thinking:
Keep the pandemic going. This is the most obvious interpretation. Nothing has been more top of mind the past two years than the pandemic. Plus, it would help explain all those “Unmask Our Kids” signs and the resistance to vaccination. But “we want our residents to continue to get sick and die” is odd messaging, even for Republicans.
Keep the joblessness going. Politicians usually brag about all the jobs they’ve created. This is a bold strategy, but I guess it’s possible.
Keep the empty storefronts going. Instead of talking about how the town has lots of successful businesses, they are highlighting the fact that there is plenty of space. Interesting.
Keep the education gap going. I’m sure it builds character or something.
Keep the homeless beggars going. Even our town’s worst off are plucky and resourceful.
Keep the mental health crisis going. It’s good for the booze industry, the drug trade, and even some health care providers.
I know the Newington Republicans can’t really be blamed for these things, but there’s precious little else happening to keep going with. There was a referendum a couple years ago to see if we wanted to make repairs to one of the schools. It passed by a wide margin, but the current administration has been dragging their feet and not letting the work happen. Maybe they want to keep the foot dragging going? Or keep the ignoring of the resident’s wishes going? I’m stumped. What do you think the town Republicans want to keep going?