November 2015 Indianapolis residents went out and elected a new mayor. Joe Hogsett won the election replacing two term mayor Greg Ballard. Indianapolis which has over 660,000 registered voters and is the biggest city in the state, yields a powerful center of voice in state issues just for appearance sake. Yet with an important election at hand on who runs the city (by all intensive purposes serves as a gateway for national attention) a whopping 150,000 registered voters turned out. That equated to a 22% turnout.
November wasn’t an anomaly either. In the May 2015 primary 7.4% of registered voters turned out. 2008 mayor’s race had a 30% turnout and in 2007, municipal elections garned only 26% of voters.
I’ll explain one major reason why…………
The societal and political culture of Indianapolis has changed a lot since I moved into the area in August 2001. While growth of Indianapolis is up and the surrounding counties exploded, what has come with that is a swelling of “Know Everything” societal/political population. The Indianapolis Star, a newspaper I used to subscribe to seven days a week, is now just good for looking schtick while deliverying it to your local recycling center every few months. The editorial board has been replaced with a lecturing class that knows all the right cliches to make you feel bad for [insert latest societal ill]. The Star has let this attitude seep out into the business side. In April 2014, the biggest convention of the year for the city came to town, the annual NRA Convention. Indianapolis Star editorial writer Matt Tully decided to welcome people to the city with an opinion piece bashing the coming attendees:
Oh, good, the National Rifle Association is coming to town. Because if there’s anything Indianapolis needs, it’s more guns. Right?
We look forward to having you and the 70,000 members you will bring — even if some of us disagree with every last ounce of our souls with just about everything you stand for and believe that you are a glaring example of what is wrong with politics in America. Other than that, we’re happy to have you.
It was nice, for instance, to discover that Alabama, the legendary country music group, is still around.
Politically speaking, I’ve engaged in conversations with this growing type of thinkers or have friends(who vote & live in Indy) who say the same thing. Head down to Talbot Street where all the deep thinking unemployed artists are, you’ll get lectures on the environment as their non potential customers litter the streets. Cruise through the young entrepenuer districts of Mass Ave or Broad Ripple Village, be ready to hear the latest “Economic Trend” of helping the poor as they look down at their FitBit watch that counts the calories away to their next drinking binge of Magnum Grey Goose Vodka.
See for all the intellectual harridans types on tv , in print or in those communities lecturing us common folk into oblivion, their efforts have resulted into a lazy voter class. The voters of the deep thinking Indianapolis class feel once a good ol’ fashion societal tongue lashing is done, nothing else matters. In the real world voting does matter. While Indianapolis media reports excuses of those who don’t vote because they feel “disenfranchised”, the politicians are sitting back and soaking it all in getting to do all they want.
Indianapolis politically relevancy is slipping away at a very fast pace.