We felt like we were missing some solid coverage of the upcoming mayoral race – trust us, you wait this long for a mayor election and there is tons to follow and we just can’t do it. Eddie, who manages @BostonVoter and BostonMayor20
Thank you for a warm welcome, friends – I really appreciate it. My first post opened new horizons for me and I am excited to continue offering my thoughts on the race through this site.
I find it essential to get to know all of Boston Mayoral Election candidates at the most personal level, but I realize I will not be able to meet them all. Last week, I decided to experiment by focusing on the most intimate platform available to voters – social media. For a week I completely isolated myself from local reporting, and I stopped myself from reading local political discussions by popular press. I knew viewing any related material would affect my sober judgment towards the goal I had for myself this week.
Not reading any of media on Boston’s mayoral election was fairly easy, and, in high spirits, I was able to focus on the the candidates in my way without media interruption. It was Boston’s Twelve (my cheap pun to Ocean’s Eleven) who collected enough signatures to make the ballot and were at the center of my attention, so I wanted to know what they were doing, where they were going, who they were meeting, what passionate speeches they were giving, what new issues they were bringing to light. I spent time reviewing tweets from each candidates, as well as related social media posts from their colleagues and friends in politics.
I was stalking them all, remotely, until I got dizzy, literally – I got light-headed through the information overload and attention deficit. Four days of it, I was experiencing information gluttony, with just too much for one person to absorb. I felt like I was in the room, with a dozen people lined up in front of me with their stories, talking to me all at once. Each candidate, through their social channels, were telling me all at once how much they love Boston, things they were ready to change here.
I mean, it’s hard enough to follow two people talking at the same time and usually we ask them to go one at the time, but listening to a dozen of them all at once!?
I realize clearly now, it is a losing battle for a Boston voter to get to know the entire cast of Boston’s Twelve. And while it would be imperative to do so before the Election Day it is, unfortunately, impossible. At the end of my experiment, my conclusion boiled down to this – Boston VOTERS are the ones losing in the race for Mayor. At this point of election preseason, for a voter to define differences and measure qualities of all politicians is contrary to reason! For an independent Boston voter, who is totally unattached to any particular candidate through ties of friendship or geography, separating informational output presented by all candidates is beyond the bounds of possibility.
But are voters getting what they need out of mayoral candidates altogether? I must say, that’s a negative. The current situation, pre-election, is a losing battle for a voter wishing to connect with just one candidate. Candidates as a political body engage Boston constituency in the political conversations and draw a picture of that bright future for Boston. Allegorically, all we are seeing is 12 candidate self-portraits, created using same pencils from the same crayon box. They are sharing same colors in the most friendly, politically correct way towards each other. They are telling us things they know we want to hear and re-repeat each other’s message, creating more confusion, more political commotion among us. At this point they are divided and as a group already conquering the race for mayor, but wining not against each other, but against a Boston voter.
While Boston mayoral election candidates are fighting for the vote of Boston constituency, the raw fact is there is just too many of them and it is starting to create political confusion. That’s why this pre-election season is a losing battle for a voter wishing to finally connect with just one name.
[photo via John Connolly Twitter)