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February 28, 2014

Iron Pants Brigade in High Gear

Harry M. Covert

Finally, it's that time of year for some divergence from various "silly-nesses" of the past few months. This is especially true throughout the Frederick communities where the political windup is now well underway as politics moves into high gear.


Campaigning, door-knocking and opinionizing in all forms become the main source of entertainment now. This period has been described as "fantastical," and baseball and golf enthusiasts won't be left out with the coming change in weather.


The candidates have prepared themselves for the why's and where-for’s with strategies, filed the proper forms and eager to get started.


Before getting into the full mode to change public opinion, efforts to win friends and influence people and organizing, lots of things will be happening. It's not an easy thing to wade into community politics. It's flat-out hard work, no matter what level of office being sought.


Besides offering for public service, public duty and community leadership, iron pants are required simply because there will be some kicking going on as gas-bagging proliferates.


Opponents will work overtime to report the negative attitudes, failings and why the good citizens have thrown themselves into the ring at the mercy of voters.


Each candidate will be designated for some partisan thought. The job is to put up with impertinence from those who are not friends or neighbors but are mischief makers. Indeed, they will be out in force, usually when least expected, and the campaigner must be prepared for the lethality of anti’s in every forum.


Politics is really the art of compromise, but the model in this day is generally not one of conciliation or sweetness and light among those of differing views.


Watching the campaigns, listening and reading about all of the problems facing those in governance is important to every facet of life. Those newcomers and incumbents in the coming elections are to be admired. Their tasks are not easy. Besides having to become tough minded, they have to make time to raise funds.


Consider the task of asking friends, old and new, to contribute $5 or $10 or more? Either through letters, telephone calls, emails or face-to-face, candidates have to hear excuses like "I'm broke this week;" "Had to pay the cell phone bill for my child in college," "My tax refund hasn't come," "Had to post bond for my cousin on a drug charge;" "I'd like to help you but really, I'm not a political person;" or "Had to put my parents in a rest home."


Public life is not an easy time. Just learning to deal with today's media is a tough job for newcomers. Veteran office-holders have to find new ways of answering questions; they just can't say a simple yes or no because either sounds like equivocation, hesitation.


Another enigma of public service efforts is getting into physical shape for walking the streets and meeting the people. Then they must be in condition to attend every event possible, finding an aide, scheduler or advance "person" to smooth the way. "Eatin' meetings" can be fun and filling.


In the present atmosphere, courage and confidence are vital to grab voters' attention and have a few good ideas. Campaigning doesn't mean simply demeaning parties and tickets but being positive, giving facts. And, don't get into unnecessary issues that aren't relevant to Frederick.


Locally, talk about pot holes in the streets, bus service, "old folks" care, success of the Greater Frederick Fair, Frederick Keys baseball, more baseball, softball and tennis courts for the recreation departments, choose some local legends from all walks of life, schools and education and the list goes on.


Stay away from issues the "knuckleheads" are spouting or have done in Annapolis, Washington, Arizona, New Jersey, West Virginia or Harlan, KY., or on cable news shows. The real issues are those in Frederick City and communities in the county and how to put the bite on the state legislature and the unruly Congress for more funding.


The feds have the money, no matter what they may say. They always find millions and billions for such places as Ukraine, Syria, Egypt, Israel, all of the countries in Africa and United Nations projects.


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