Oct 24, 2005
Detroit’s mayoral election is heating up, pitting Kwame Kilpatrick and Freman Hendrix, two peas in a pod, against each other.
What are the major issues facing the people of Detroit today?
First there’s the deplorable state of Detroit’s school system. Both candidates accuse the other of selling out Detroit schools. Both are right.
When current mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was a state representative, he helped then Governor John Engler to push through a “reform school board” that took control of the schools from the people of Detroit and put it in the mayor’s hands. Challenger Freman Hendrix was appointed by then Mayor Dennis Archer to head that new “reform board.” That board further gutted the schools, decimating the budget while handing money to their friends in contract after contract.
Next comes city services, which are in a horrible state. Both Hendrix and Kilpatrick, during their times in office, cut essential services while giving money to every developer who came down the pike.
Unemployment is another major issue facing Detroiters. Both candidates laid off big numbers of city workers when they had the chance.
And finally, there’s the long-standing conflict between Detroit, which is largely black, and its suburbs – many of which are affluent and largely white. Both Kilpatrick and Hendrix present themselves as standing strong for the interests of the people of Detroit. But both candidates have received the big majority of their campaign money from very wealthy suburban sources!
It’s no wonder that most voters in Detroit seem to be voting against one candidate rather than voting for the other one.
But there’s a problem with voting for the “lesser of two evils.” A vote isn’t recorded AGAINST the one candidate – it shows up as a vote FOR the other candidate. So no matter who wins, he’ll read it as an authorization to continue with the attacks that both have been part of.
Better to withhold our authorization entirely, than to let the winner use our vote against us.