That was interesting. What was a substantial margin in the May special election (95,667 votes, 54.9%, to 78,721 votes, 45.1%) shrunk to something infinitesimal.
The Christy Smith campaign was a dodder, but voters seemed to see past its mild and mediocre effort, grit teeth and choose Smith as a lesser evil in far greater proportion than was evidenced in the special election in May.
The Smith effort employed far less media or direct mail campaigning. It cost far less. It engaged in far less smearing and misinformative distortions of truth. It seemed to intentionally exert far less effort.
So much less effort that it seemed that the Smith campaign really was sort of agnostic about the result.
It seemed like the Smith campaign would accept the appointment if she won, but really, she was happy where she was and – honestly – what would Garcia do that really wasn’t good for lots of the constituents here anyway?
Sure, he’d be babbling the Republican party line, putting out amateur epidemiology advice, kowtowing to Donald Trump, and typical whistling and mewing to the base, but, so what?
We all do that. It is the opinion machine and our varying ideological strife that strengthen democracy. Like calisthenics, we exercise the ideas and exhaustively toil in order to maintain our strength and durability.
I like the idea that where we live is exactly like the country as a whole. To some of us, the stress becomes overwhelming, it makes some of us give up in fear or cowardice, or maybe “fight” and become threatening or violent. Perhaps we even dare to impugn the other side with unfair stereotypes that we have created via confirmation bias to support our existing worldviews. That’s humanity.
Being in a locale, here along the swathe of north L.A. that is on the Wild Urban Interface, the transition zone between the metropolis and the pastoral idyll, and facing a near-perfect political division among the two parties, we are treated to a microcosmic and iconic American experience of red-blue angst.
We suffer or thrive from the vagaries of political maneuvering that is representative of the modern American experience. We get to hear the loud cacophony of extremes of both sides of our bipartisan experiment.
It is educational and heartbreaking in the alternations of compassion and ignorance, of blind followership and of rugged individualism. But it is profoundly American. God bless it.