What to do? Woe is me.
| At best, all three candidates for Norfolk's Mayor are shady choices. What to do? Woe is us.
First, I do not trust Mayor Paul Fraim. Admittedly, he has helped guide Norfolk in a direction of growth and municipal maturity. Unfortunately, I feel he has acted in a murky fog of shrouded mystery so far as financing, dealing with the public, and being what is euphemistically called transparency. His view of citizen worth is a bit on the low side; I feel as if he looks at us as his serfs. I almost feel that he thinks he rules, and that is the proper word, rules, the city for our own collective good, and that we do not have the ability to offer any insight into the governing of our own city.
Michael Muhammad tells us that he is for the people of Norfolk and that he wants to stem the tide of cronyism and corruption. Lofty goals, indeed. Yet, he counts among his supporters Anthony Burfoot. Does anyone see the dark humor in this? It is as if Batman ran for office with The Joker supporting him. Muhammad is a man of vague generalities, great sounding ideas, designed to warm the cockles of our collective hearts while ignoring our collective minds. One specific he mentions is what he refers to as the failed cruise terminal, conveniently neglecting to mention that the terminal will be used again to welcome cruise passengers. Perhaps he missed that news item. That's just one example of half truths promulgated by Muhammad. Having the support of Paul Riddick does little to give me warm, fuzzy feelings either.
Jane Bethel, in my mind, is a "Wanna Be" candidate with the experience to govern asymptotic to a typical sitcom. I am particularly apprehensive of her comment, "Vote for Jane Bethel on May 6 because I: profess Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior and seek to honor God with my service to others . . ." That was her first comment in answering the question of why she should be chosen mayor. That, is not a reason to vote for anyone. It is a devisive, frightening comment to make in a city of diverse beliefs, including Christian, Jewish, Islamic, Pagan, Hindu, Buddhist, and a multitude of other followings, not to mention atheists and agnostics. If that is her first thought, then I want her nowhere near the wheel of governance; I don't even want her in the pilothouse. Add to that her lack of experience and we have an "also ran Wanna Be."
So, with those three choices, what do we do?
We can not vote. That is a bad choice. It is our duty to vote. Men and women have died so that we can vote. To not vote is to declare oneself a serf, supporting the Fraim view of government. I am leaning toward Fraim for his accomplishments and hoping that we will keep ourselves better informed and become more active in helping Fraim formulate his policies. Still, it is tempting to use my vote to send a message, to write in someone to show I voted, that I took the trouble to come out, but am thoroughly unhappy with any of the official choices.
Perhaps I will write in my name, or write in my wife's name. If my boss lived in Norfolk, she'd get my vote in a heartbeat. Or, perhaps, I will hold my nose and vote Fraim. What to do?