I’m a big fan of Gene Weingarten, The Washington Post humor columnist. This week, in his column in WP Magazine, he hits on one of my favorite topics, local politics or specifically, awareness of local politics and politicians. Gene admits that he comes up short in this department. When it comes time to vote in local political races, he writes that he has “seldom taken the time to familiarize myself with the candidates, a sin I then compound by not letting my ignorance deter me.”
“Because it is childish, I won’t use the eenie-meenie method; instead, I’ll pick the candidate with the funniest name, or, if the names have an equal humor quotient, I will revert to the shameful method employed by my parents’ generation (they, too, disdained eenie-meenie) and “pick the Jew.” On the rare occasions when more than one name is Jewish, I pick the Jewiest. “Cohen” loses to “Rosenflutz.”
This works as long as you don’t care about what goes on in your own backyard. Sooner or later however, an issue is bound to come up which hits home, or for Gene, his ability to park near his home. He now knows that his city councilman is a guy a named Tommy Wells and that it is Tommy who is responsive to needs and concerns of his neighborhood, not some faceless character named Marvin Schopnick.