Pattye Benson

Community Matters

Moving Past Tredyffrin’s 2010 Election Cycle

The political signs have gone. The phones have stopped ringing. There are no more calls reminding us to vote or asking who we like in certain races. There’s no one knocking at the door urging us to vote. It’s nice and quiet. What we have left are the victors and the losers. The numbers settle it all, once the votes have been counted.

Locally, the dust has begun to settle post-election 2010. After a heated, and at times very negative mud-slinging campaign between Paul Drucker and Warren Kampf, a victor emerged in the State House 157 race. Warren Kampf will take his new office in January and State Representative Paul Drucker will complete his term on November 30. In the aftermath of any election there is always discussion as to what ‘went wrong’ or what ‘went right’ with the campaign. Campaign insiders are left to ponder the future.

I think it is unfortunate that politics has increasingly begun to feel like a game, but one that is very often played outside the bounds of civility. During this past local campaign cycle, my reaction to both sides was often profound sadness and disappointment. Winning at all costs became the focus, and that it did not appear to matter what it took to get to the winner’s circle.

Last night I was picking up Chinese food in Berwyn and walked past the window of Fellini’s Restaurant on my way to the car. In the window, I saw Paul and Robin Drucker and stopped in to say hello. Paul was with some of his campaign staff; my guess is that in the near future, many of these young campaigners will disburse in their separate directions. Looking at the group gathered, I reflected on the idealism and passion of being a political campaigner; and of being 20-something.

Regardless of their associated political party, there is an unwavering commitment to political candidates by the often young campaign staff. These young people have placed an importance on local politics. They support their local legislators with the understanding that these officials make decisions that affect our daily lives. These things matter.

Looking ahead, maybe there is hope for the future . . . that the grassroots optimism and idealism of youth can help create a civic landscape with great vibrancy for which we can all be proud.

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  1. Pattye, very interesting commentary. It reminds me of the time I took my son on college visits during the 2008 election cycle. At one small liberal arts college, we walked into the student union while a huge rally was going on for Obama. It was at once impressive and a bit over the top. Idealism abounded. My comment to my wife and son was if Obama gets elected, these students idealism will be tempered by frustration about the lack of job opportunities. Idealism fades when the reality of the choices we make come about..But I guess one has to start somewhere.

  2. Idealism reigns when you are in the lowest tax brackets? When what you get in services exceeds what you pay in taxes. Kind of like living at home and keeping your room warm….

  3. anon80,

    Since when are idealism and tax brackets inversely related? Such cynicism. What one “gets” in services should be viewed over that person’s lifetime. Government policies have enabled the wealthy to keep a greater portion of their wealth and take advantage of tax incentives and loopholes to which middle class taxpayers have no access. Though many of the poor are net recipients of government largesse, would you prefer they access services once homeless and in need of emergency medical care?

    Should roads and bridges crumble, poverty rates continue to rise, and the quality of education depend on which community a child lives in….. while huge corporations continue to receive massive subsidies and pay little or no income tax? And the top 1% in this country control more wealth than in most banana republics?

    I think I know your answer.

    And yours too, flyers’s fan.

  4. you THINK you know my answer, like you THINK you know what’s good for me and the rest. What a tangled web you weave.

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