They say people get the leaders they deserve.
Today, Oaklanders indicated they see nothing wrong with their leadership. As far as I can tell, all the key incumbents were re-elected. That includes City Council members Jane Brunner and Nancy Nadel -- two candidates with virtually no support among the east bay's blogging elites.
I feel bad tonight for fellow bloggers such as V Smoothe, who spent many hours campaigning on behalf of Sean Sullivan. Not because these candidates lost, but because my fellow bloggers spent so much time on such a fruitless cause.
I understand the urge to compassion and the hope that collective action can harness this human drive to improve the lives of others. This drive led to Prop 98's defeat today, as well-meaning voters kept rent control in place.
Collective action in pursuit of compassion is the heart of liberalism, and also its undoing.
The problem is one of scale. Everyone knows of individuals who have positively impacted the lives of other individuals. Liberal theology contains many such anecdotes -- the poor worker who receives some money and gets a college degree, or the immigrant who finds a cheap apartment and starts a business.
Sadly, such anecdotes are usually the result of certain highly motivated individuals. They are not representative of anything but what one determined person can accomplish.
But liberals like to generalize. "It must be possible," they say, "to create a program which provides these same opportunities to the public at large."
In each and every situation where government has followed this formula, unintended consequences and gaming the system have destroyed the best of intentions. Such is the case with a rent control system that keeps San Francisco pieds-a-terre cheap for our wealthy bretheren. Such is the system which pays teenage mothers in Oakland to have kids, neglect them and ultimately raise murderers.
My friends. My fellow bloggers: Oakland does not want your help. And, largely, those you aim to help do not deserve your time and effort.
Oakland has spoken loud and clear: Oakland does not care about changes in leadership and government. Oakland is fine the way it is. Murders, rapes, carjackings and all.
I know that there is a tendency in the face of such defeat to think such things as, "we fought the good fight; we got our message out."
Let me say this very clearly. By participating in the political process in Oakland, you have wasted your time. You have accomplished absolutely nothing, save providing the government-media machine with a new set of intruders to repel. Our government is a self-healing mechanism, and you have strengthened its immune system for the next election.
No, if you want to make a difference, you must focus on individual action. Assist one person and you have done more than the government can ever hope to achieve.
Start a business. Employ people. Pursue gentrification. These are the things that will improve your surroundings.
Remember that this is not your government. It is their government, and we are all in their crosshairs. So, be selfish and self-reliant. Make decisions to protect yourselves. Be willing to leave if necessary.
Establish a Nevada HQ. I did.
But above all, do not participate in the process. The more you participate, the stronger the process. And we've all seen how that turns out.