This year brings a mayoral election to Pittsburgh. And as usual, the slate is nothing but Democrats. The incumbent mayor is a Democrat as are his two challengers. What I'm about to say would probably make most of yinz think that Uncle P has been drinking too many hairy assed imperial stouts. But I wish that there was a Republican in the field.
There! I said it. Unfriend away, kids.
If there was a rational, reasonable Republican (they DO exist!) in the mayoral field that wasn't a batshit Trumper, I would seriously think about voting for them. Now the day a Republican actually runs for and wins a city office, much less the mayorship of Pittsburgh is the day the Devil does triple axels on a frozen lake of fire.
Democrats outnumber Repubs in Pittsburgh six to one. The last time Pittsburgh elected a Republican mayor was in the '30's. The Democrats have had a stranglehold on city power for damn near a century. Now the Democrats have had varying degrees of success running Pittsburgh. They were able to clean up Pittsburgh's smoky image and replace the steel industry with a strong medical and technological base. They did a decent job cleaning up Downtown. They've slowed down the population exodus that plagued Pittsburgh since the steel industry left in the sixties and seventies. Tech companies like Google, Amazon, and Apple have started to make their presence known. Pittsburgh has become known as a cutting edge medical leader.
But, at the same time, the Democratic Party in Pittsburgh has become fat, bloated and complacent. It hasn't been challenged. They trot out the same old rhetoric and the same old machine politics and the same old tired politicians. Emphasis on old.
And the people keep voting these same calcified donkeys in, year in and year out. The old saying goes, "Competition Improves the Breed. For a champion thoroughbred to stay fit and fast, it must be exercised. Otherwise, it becomes a tired old nag. And thus is the status of the Democrats in Pittsburgh. Due to lack of true competition, it has become broken down and can't get out of its own way. Destined for the glue factory.
If the few Republicans in Pittsburgh could muster up some candidates that could make the Democratic machine sing for its supper for once, the city could benefit from some fresh thinking. Some new eyes taking a different look at our problems.
I know that cities are usually run by Democrats while the GOP run the suburbs. There aren't many cities that are run by Republicans. Yes, I am registered Democrat. But in general elections, I've been known to split the ticket. In my life, I've registered Republican, Independent, even dabbled in Libertarian. I'd kick the Democrats to the curb if a real sound alternative popped up. I'm not wedded to any political party. I find the full mooners at either extreme equally annoying.
But I'm ready to see some new ideas, some new thinking. But I don't see it happening anytime soon. Republicans aren't moving into the city in large enough numbers to tilt the voter registration more equitably. And the Democratic message is getting more and more tiring. And less and less effective.