So, this is going to be an overtly political post, but a locally-focused one. As always, this is my blog, not a democracy, and if comments cross my defined line I shall nuke them without warning or recourse.
I spent an energizing, invigorating few hours last night at a reception for Martin Babinec of Martin Babinec for Congress. You know: the only independent running for Congress in the entire nation that actually has a shot at winning a seat. The one the establishment is trying to ignore, or overtly suppress. The one who is suing the election commission over their latest corrupt trick involving not putting his party line on the local ballots despite his having overcome every nonsensical obstacle the establishment has tried to put in his path to election.
The one who actually understands economics, and how jobs are created and fostered. The one scaring the establishment because he also gets how they are stifling those processes and he plans to put their feet to the fire to make them stop.
Yeah, that guy. Heard of him yet? That’s part of the problem. I’m trying to help with that.
The crowd was amazing. Politically both former Democratic and Republican, but not blindly dogmatically so. People who described themselves as “progressive,” or “conservative,” but who aren’t bound by those labels. There were a couple of (sitting and former) Congressmen there as well as other local officials, representing “both sides of the aisle.” There were also throngs of people like me: ordinary citizens and small business owners who are sick of the current situation.
Demographically? There were multiple languages around me, from Spanish to, yes, Arabic. I spoke with a grandmother (and with her daughter and with her grandson), all immigrants who are here to do great things in the land of opportunity. I spoke with youngsters my children’s age who see the mess we’ve left for them and who are stepping up to the role of cleaning it up as they begin to take over. I spoke with so many people in between, and we all have one driving passion in common: we love this town and are actively working to take it back from the corrupt and inept status quo.
Central New York is a goldmine. Not just a diamond in the rough, a goldmine. We have everything we need to be an economic powerhouse—right here. We have the people. We have the land and the resources. We have ready access to serious capital markets Downstate. We have some of the best colleges and universities and trade schools in the nation.
We also have toxic leadership. People who put their own interests ahead of their mandate to serve us. People who stifle job creation and job growth unless it (as they want you to believe is the proper path) comes via the special interests who fund their campaign coffers.
We are not going to “create jobs” in this town by spending gobs of taxpayer money to bring in outside industry; that’s the process whereby the status quo keeps taking our money and giving it to their cronies, not the one that actually fosters sustainable job growth. Jobs aren’t created, people create jobs. I will create jobs when my Studio grows to the point where I can afford to hire help. You will create jobs, starting with the one you create for yourself when you step up to realize your dreams. Jobs come from the bottom up, not from the top down. The folks at the top don’t care about your job, they’re after the bottom line. It’s you, I, the folks around you, the ones who love this town and who have skin in the game who will create—and care about—that job that could help you lift yourself out of poverty.
Martin put it bluntly: had he founded his first major entrepreneurial venture here, knowing what he knew at the time, he’d have failed. Instead, he founded it out West in a welcoming (rather than hostile) environment. That made all the difference. We need that environment right here. The current crony environment is an enemy of that goal. Martin is back, bearing the fabulous wealth of knowledge about how the process really works and how it could flourish here. That sets him apart from the status quo running against him, who represent more of the same toxic thinking that got us into our current mess.
A huge problem with money in politics is that the special interests who pump in the vast majority of the cash are polarized to the extreme ends of the left/right spectrum. Passion opens wallets, and the vast majority of us, we who live in the immense middle ground between those poles, don’t excite that kind of passion. That leaves us unrepresented, disaffected, and downright disgusted. Cynical people are out there to tap into that disgust to sell you the political equivalent of snake oil. Sounds great, but doesn’t work, and they’re off laughing behind your back as they deposit your check.
Stand up. Step away. Make a real difference. Vote with your eyes and your mind open. I have, and I will, which is why I will vote Babinec for Congress. Please do the same.
Okay, putting away my soap box now. Have a fab day.