Hope Always Courts Disappointment

October 29, 2014

No question.

hope2

Hope is better than fear. Unfortunately, fear has a much more direct route into our hardwiring and manifests itself more readily than hope.

I think about this in the post-election haze, from a conversation I had with Ward 2 candidate Andray Domise during the height of his campaign run. He told me that he was regularly meeting residents who were too afraid to hope. They had been disappointed too many times to simply put it back out there again. hopeandfearSure, hope is better than fear but hope hurts when it crashes against the rocks of reality.

(And certainly judging by the Ward 2 election results again this time, fear of hope was entirely justified by the voters.)

Yet, there they were, candidates of all political stripes, running on little more than hope. Hope, good intentions, public service. Many of them I know quit their jobs or took a leave of absence in order to give if it a shot. It would be very easy for most of them to look at how it all played out, how incumbency can be a deadweight that’s impossible to lift and toss aside.

Aside from an impressive increase in voter turnout, there was very little to show for their efforts.

I mean, fuck. Here I am, from largely on the sidelines, and the only way I can describe my reaction to the numbers as they rolled in is crushing… crushed? … crushing…

My easy analysis of what transpired this campaign is that it was all about the mayor. blindersMost voters had one thing and one thing only on their mind when they cast their ballot. The mayor’s race. Everything else was tickety-boo. At the councillor level, name recognition won the day, and won the day by a wide margin in many cases.

This wasn’t about fear versus hope. This was all about making a very practical decision. The baby was cuddled close as the bathwater got tossed.

Such rudimentary rationalization hardly quiets the disappointment, mind you, but hopefully (there’s that word again), it helps ease us softly toward the reality of the situation we’re facing at City Hall. A lot changed or very little did. It’s too early to tell.

So we should take a step back and best we can lick our wounds. Recoup all that genuine energy and maybe be still for a bit. Hope is better than fear. It’s just a whole lot harder to maintain.

We here at All Fired Up in the Big Smoke will be going quiet for a few weeks, contemplating our collective navel and trying to think about anything and everything other than municipal politics. Like say, elephants. We’re going to think about elephants and listen to the canary sing.

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