Is an election ever NOT ABOUT the lesser of two evils

Sean Braisted endorses Diane Neighbors for vice-mayor (over Carol Baldwin Tucker).  S-townMike says a pox on both houses.  In the comments under Sean’s endorsement, Mike is bewildered by progressives who don’t understand that Neighbors is way too pro-business.  I think Tucker is obtuse and that Neighbors is the lesser of two evils.

All of this is to ask the question:  When is an election really NOT about the lesser of two evils?  Don’t candidates have to make compromises that blemish their ‘perfect’ man/woman for the job?

I guess I’m cynical, but the lesser of two evils is often part of my decision making process when it comes to voting.



Filed under politics

5 responses to “Is an election ever NOT ABOUT the lesser of two evils

  1. I guess my problem is that I don’t see Diane Neighbors as the lesser of anything…I’m happy she’s running and will be glad to see her as the next Vice Mayor. Could she disappoint? Absolutely, but it seems as though her major block of support is within the progressive community, so I’m not sure why people think she’s gonna have some allegiance to the Charlie Tygard’s of the Metro Council. When it comes to any other candidate, we look at their major backers and make assumptions about what kind of elected official they’ll be; but when it comes to Diane people seem to be ignoring her major backers and focus on a single bill which ultimately would’ve resulted in cleaner cars (kidding…sort of).

    Maybe it just comes down to a fundamental disagreement about where this city should be. Perhaps folks like Mike and I see federal policy in similar views, but differ on local policy. I happen to agree with Steve Neighbors’ policy paper on Affordable Housing, and wouldn’t have a problem with some of these ideas being implemented. Perhaps this isn’t where the progressive community in the urban neighborhoods are at?

    Ultimately, there is a point of view problem between the two of us. He (and you) reside in an area that is much more planned, has neighborhood input, etc…I live in an area (Old Hickory and Nolensville) where apartment complexes are next to liquor stores which are next to Walmarts. So in the grand scheme of things, a car wash exemption bill isn’t going to make or break my support for someone.

  2. Pingback: Volunteer Voters » The Nobility of Compromise

  3. S-townMike

    Never said anything about a “perfect candidate.”

    To reiterate what I’ve said: there is no evidence that Diane Neighbors will be any more progressive in her committee appointments than CBT as Sean insists she will. I’ve continuously said this is not just about the bill, a point which is ignored and reduced to a preoccupation with “clean cars.”

    As for the whole less-is-better argument of this post: here’s my response, for the sake of not clogging up the comments.

  4. Stewart Clifton

    Okay, so I’m not completely an objective observer of the vice mayor’s race. I clearly have worked to elect Diane. But I would like offer the following thoughts about why I am for her. I don’t think the idea of “lesser of two evils” has much application here. Diane will be a great vice mayor and not just in terms of her opponent. Those who think she is anti-neighborhood haven’t been watching the same council meetings that I have been. Here are some reflections on just one aspect of her strengths, her support for neighborhoods and common sense in development.

    *Diane supports strong neighborhoods and thoughtful development. (They don’t have to conflict!!)

    *She has been a strong supporter of Nashville’s neighborhoods. A longtime resident of Nashville’s urban neighborhoods and a proponent of historic and conservation overlays, she has specifically voted in favor of urban neighborhood needs. On 18th district issues, for instance, she has supported neighborhood associations’ positions on re-zonings and overlays on every vote!

    *One of our most thoughtful councilmembers, Diane has sought to balance the needs of neighborhoods with the city’s need for smart, planned growth. She ran advocating this approach and has consistently held to it.

    *Diane formed the “Healthy Growth and Development Task Force” early in her council term. This group included neighborhood leaders, developers, government and elected officials. She did this specifically to bring diverse interests together to talk about achieving that balance. Many concrete improvements in process and communication occurred because of her leadership in this area.

    *Diane has also strongly supported safer neighborhoods. As Budget Chair 2 years ago sponsored and passed a budget improving funding for fire and police.

    *Diane has supported the Metro Planning Commission as it has moved strongly toward independent and community enhancing neighborhood planning, and as it has resisted the “development is always good” approach more prevalent in some past Commissions.

    *Diane has sought to increase the capacity of the Metro Planning Commission so it can work with neighborhoods in developing neighborhood plans with input from all. One of her opponents recently sought to cut funding to the Planning Commission, a move which had it been successful would have reduced the ability of the Commission to provide services to neighborhoods such developing more neighborhood plans.

    So vote for Diane not because she is the lesser of two evils, but because she is thoughtful, progressive and fair-minded. And a neighborhood supporter!

  5. Jim

    Actually, many elections evolve into being about the evils of two lessers rather than the lesser of two evils.

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