Trump’s Local Effect

We’re all familiar with the Tip O’Neill-associated, political aphorism that “all politics are local.”  We get it. Let’s not, for example, drag Washington and the White House into the untidy, sometimes turbulent, milieu of local elected officials addressing local issues. Whether the president is Clinton or Bush or Obama, it doesn’t matter. And had it been Gore or Kerry or McCain or Romney, it wouldn’t have mattered. But, alas, a President Trump matters. Mightily.

It matters because an unhinged, unprepared avatar of narcissism and chaos–with a high-profile track record of immoral and unethical behavior preceding him–reflects unflatteringly on those who supported–and voted for–Trump. It means they philosophically supported what he said he stood for–from “The Wall” underwriting to climate change to the “fake news” media to unworthy allies–or were just duped into following–and channeling–the Rev. Jim Jones of “populist” presidential politics.

We’ve seen examples of Tampa Bay mayoral candidates who have acknowledged having voted for Trump, and now we have a St. Petersburg City Council member, Ed Montanari, at the center of attention and controversy for having admitted to voting for the authoritarian-in-chief.

The unprecedented bottom line is this: If local candidates voted for Trump, they have revealed something that voters need to know–and need to be concerned with. Even in a non-partisan city council race. That’s because it says something very concerning about candidates’ values and judgment. It means they were all in with getting a reality-TV charlatan and faux populist whose “ideology” belonged on a baseball cap. Or maybe it was Trump’s bullying, “tell-it-like-it is” anti-establishment manner that sounded like a favorite drunk at “last call.” Or maybe it was just a matter of fealty to a cult leader.

Sorry, Ed, but Trump support should be disqualifying. But learn from it, distance yourself from this con-man threat, speak out against his re-election and no longer enable those who want to “Make America Grieve Again.”

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