As much as I have grown to have a genuine disdain for politics, it hasn't always been so. As a political aficionado for most of my years, there is nothing like election night.
But lately, there really hasn't been much to look forward to.
You hear people complain about their elected officials, they rip them a new orifice at every opportunity, they threaten to vote "the bums" out, and then they go vote for them. That's how machines get built.
When the machine wears down and fails to perform adequately, you must get a new one. When a group of elected officials insulate and distance themselves and thoroughly disregard the rights and the will of the people, they must be replaced. The only way to do this is to vote against them.
That's what the city of Indianapolis did tonight. They saw an ineffective, corrupt, and arrogant machine and they traded it in.
Tonight, LTC Greg Ballard USMC (Ret.) became Mayor-Elect Greg Ballard, leader of the nation's 12th largest city. With no party support and no money, he has won one of the biggest upset victories in the history of Indiana politics and one of the largest grass roots campaign ever. With some civic outrage, some will, and some determination he has beaten a machine candidate that had millions to spend.
Not only did the mayor's race fall to the opponent of the mighty Democratic incumbent, the city-county council also changed hands. Rozelle Boyd (former council president), Lonnell Conley (lover of taxation), and Ron Gibson (the one accused of assault on a police officer at Indiana Black Expo, charges were later mysteriously dropped.) were all voted out of office. Other Democratic incumbents were too.
But, Indianapolis residents know that the GOP had their dinosaurs too. A couple of them decided not to run early, because they were tired of not being in control. So, in a sense, it was a double whammy.
Democratic incumbents voted out, GOP incumbents not running, it seems like Indy purged itself of some dead weight today. There was a ballot box revolution. And when all is said and done, this election will go down in the record books and forever be known as one in which the people got mad and did something about, instead of just bitching about it. This is the one that will be known as, the one that made a difference.
This was a true anti-incumbency movement that both got a hold of and gained traction, the closer the election came. It is a microcosm of what could happen on a national level, if people got their collective heads out of the sand. It showed what could happen when someone has the guts to stand up for their wishes and desires. It is the essence of what has always fascinated me about American politics, the fact that people can fire their government and never fire a shot.
So to the new mayor and council members, I say congratulations. You have your work cut out for you. But never forget, why you were sent. People were irritated enough to send someone with no prior political experience, to do their business. They have entrusted you to clean up the stinking mess. And with that in mind, when you govern and make important decisions, you should always keep in mind the ocean tide. The same tide that swept you in, can also sweep you back out.
Note-I misidentified Mr. Borst as Larry, not Philip. Larry was his father the long-time state legislator. It has been struck and corrected. My apologies for the confusion.