Greater Krueger National Park

Greater Krueger National Park
An image from a recent trip to South Africa. Clcik on the image for more on this trip.

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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Pragmatism over Ideology - Please!

Last night Republican Richard Berry received 68% of the votes cast and won reelection as Mayor of Albuquerque, New Mexico.  His campaign emphasized his responsible approach to addressing basic issues facing the community.  Independent observers of the mayoral race credited Berry's impressive win to the political support that he enjoyed across the entire political spectrum, including not just Republicans, but also Democrats and Independents.

I suggest that this kind of campaign and candidate is what this country needs at the national level.  Aggressive electioneering, but low key, focused on real solutions to  basic issues facing the nation and independent of ideology.  Governor Susana Martinez is the governor of New Mexico.  She is another example showing exactly how effective this kind of candidate can be - not just at winning elections but also in governing.  I suggest that the Republican Party should stop quoting dead people and start explaining exactly how we can pragmatically dig ourselves out of the hole that we have gotten ourselves into.  

By focusing on what Democrats have done wrong without providing viable specific alternatives, we cast ourselves as nay sayers.  This not only hurts us at the polls, but it also limits our effectiveness if we do manage to get elected.  Success at governing is more difficult to achieve than just getting elected.  How come?  Because success at governing means that you have the people at your back.  People don't stick with leaders that don't produce real results.  Instead, they look to the other guy to see if he can do any better and the revolving door turns yet again without any real progress on specific problems.

Berry's reelection win in Albuquerque was in the first round of voting, something that had not happened in that city for more than a quarter century.  It means that he will have considerable public support for his policies during his second term in office.  That is what makes it possible for somebody to actually make a contribution to his community.  You only get there if you are addressing real problems not just spouting ideological gibberish.

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