Cleveland Uber Alles

Untimely Dispatches from the Neighborhood of the Unrepresented & Inarticulate; Anecdotes that Pedal and Coast Through the Boot-Print of 20th Century American Urbanism

Monday, November 07, 2005

The Candidates We Deserve . . . Are the ones we get. Thus, Jane Campbell and Frank Jackson; thus, the current mayoral race reduced to a bloviating debate about which candidate is a "real Clevelander." Cleveland Uber Alles sympathizes with the six voters who would give a damn posting in the comment section over at Brewed Fresh Daily. Despite his apparently lopsided lead, Frank Jackson remains uninspiring, with a narrowness of vision that suits life in a village, rather than live in city. Jackson may be "true the code" of Ward 5 (see post below for relevant links and commentary), but throughout this campaign, he's proven himself unable to articulate or demonstrate any compelling reasons to believe that he'll actually do anything for the "real Clevelanders" he's supposed to personify. And it's Jackson's lack of public speaking skills that worries this blog. It's ridiculous to hold a Cleveland politician's rhetorical skills up against the standard of, say, a Harold Washington, but Jackson's gaffing speaking style and his apparent inability to go beyond his talking points recall our current president's troubled way with words in a way that's quite uncomfortable. One who can't speak well is all too easily the tool of others, and with rumors circulating that Jackson is Forrest City Enterprises' candidate, Cleveland Uber Alles worries that he will, like so many mayors before him, merely become an implement of the city's "Developers" (ach, how their title belongs in quotes, with how they've developed poverty and illiteracy here). Campbell, on the other hand, well, doesn't promise to do much for the "real Cleveland" either, and so voters are left only with a choice of who will get to decide which developers will get their share of the loot from the latest public money boondoggles. This won't change either, until Clevelanders do. Like the rest of the nation, they need to become more literate in the decisions that affect them; they need an activist base and strong, involved community organizations; and, yes, they need jobs and schools--all that stuff the candidates are supposed to promise. Hopefully, when the election's over, and in the quiet about it, since we won't even notice much difference no matter who wins, the city will be able to start talking about what needs to be done and how it can be accomplished.

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