We’ve got an election here on Saturday the 20th, and you wouldn’t know it except for the annoying and slick public relations commercials on TV and radio. Like their national counterparts, the plethora of wannabe politicians wrap themselves in images of family and blue-collar workers, all carefully scripted and created to project an image of trustworthiness and commonness.
But we know it’s all fake. We know that it’s all a fabricated veneer like the rich wood grain skin that hides the cheap and unreliable particle board of low-end furniture. I mean, seriously, is there really an iota of difference in the way the ad people are packaging and selling John Georges, Aaron Broussard or Jeb Bruneau?
But then there’s Malcolm Suber, candidate for New Orleans City Council At-Large.
Malcolm is running for the seat vacated by the reprehensible Oliver Thomas, a “public servant” who will forever be remembered as the man who served himself first and foremost.
In stark contrast to the pack of lifelong politicians, Malcolm is a lifelong community activist. Malcolm does not play the political games of saying only focus-group-tested platitudes. Malcolm does not pledge allegiance to the voters while secretly stuffing his pockets with the contributions of rich paymasters.
I met Malcolm at a party uptown last Friday night. It was a meeting of progressive candidates--no Democrats or Republicans were allowed. Just as Cynthia Willard-Lewis and Jackie Clarkson represent the failed politicians of the past, I believe the Democratic and Republican parties are monuments of past power and money-controlled politics that has led our government far too long. It’s the Democrats and Republicans who have led us to where we are right now.
I’m not. I’m going to vote for as many non-Republicrats as possible. I’m looking for independents, Greens and Libertarians. If you think this country, this state, and this city are headed in the wrong direction, then let somebody else drive. Don’t just vote for the same people, the same political gangs, and the same well-connected machine of moneychangers.
With Malcolm on the ballot, we have the opportunity to remove the distasteful flavor of corruption and self-enrichment from the council. Malcolm’s slogan is, “No More Sellout Politicians!” and I believe he means it.
Malcolm and I talked about education, about empowerment, about building a community that trusts its police to protect them. I found him to be sincere and forthright in every instance. I'm not going to try to paraphrase his ideas here; I encourage you to visit Malcolm's web page to read for yourself.
No, I did not fully agree with him on every issue. But that’s one of the reasons I will vote for him. Malcolm is not going to just spout empty slogans and patronize values as determined by public opinion surveys. There’s no bait-and-switch here. Malcolm tells the truth about what’s important to him, about what he wants to do about it, about his desire to lead a revolution in this city.
And by any measure, that makes Malcolm a leader.
Isn’t that exactly what we need in New Orleans?