Friday, February 8

Gunshots, Babies Crying, and Screaming - Jacksonville

kids shooting jax shot spotter
It's my first mayoral race here in Jacksonville, but I assume it will be a fun one. Two candidates who don't like one another. Anna Brosche's attack ad seems to be a metaphor for her distaste for Lenny Curry, but a lot of people also called the ad itself distasteful. If it was for a local ice cream shop, I'd totally agree, but when we're talking politics, then you can use the gunshots, crying babies, and screaming without crossing the line. Fear is the top emotion for local news, home security sales, and political ads.


Imagine a news teaser like this: "Next at 11, a local teen is accused of meeting people online in order to help clean up the lawn for the elderly couple next door." Or, "Police officers pulled a man over and issued him a warning for speeding." We might say that's the kind of news we want, but we also wouldn't watch the news if there wasn't video footage of cars running into parked buildings or disturbing police body camera footage just before someone was gunned down. Or gangs. Fear and anger are always top stories, with maybe a few :15 community interest stories thrown in. And we eat it up.

When we moved in, a home security guy showed up and asked whether I preferred to save a few dollars a month or put my family in danger. That was our welcome wagon to Jacksonville, besides some coupons the home improvement stores sent through the post office. He seemed surprised when I said I'd prefer to put my family in danger because I live life on the edge. Sure, he was expecting me to say I'd think about it, that I absolutely must sign an immediate contract for free installation, or that we just didn't have the money right now. A lot of the Youtube channels for security systems have feel-good ads, but the ones they run on TV tend to be more like the ones in the embedded video, stoking fear.



So Anna Brosche used fear when attacking Lenny Curry. I looked back at Lenny's ads from the last election (that were available on Youtube), and it seems as if he didn't use attack ads. I really have no way of knowing if that's accurate, since I didn't live here. Maybe people were moved by the whole "keeping our streets safe" positive message.
Anna wants to attack the platform for Curry's #1 Priority in the last election. Based on statistics, the "streets" aren't safer. Actually, it could be an excellent scientific study here, as our city has hired more police officers AND had a booming economy WITHOUT the streets getting safer. Those are always the arguments--from the right: we need more cops; from the left: we need more jobs. So what gives? I am sure it's frustrating for Curry. The formula is supposed to work.

Of course, scare tactics or not, Brosche probably does not have a better formula than more police officers and more jobs. I know she opposed the sale of JEA, the money from UAE, and Confederate monuments, but I just can't find a plan for fixing the crime issue. In fact, if I was running, I don't know if I'd challenge someone on crime who has tried so hard to fix it. There's a chance she might win, and then she'll have the same #1 Priority.

If I was Anna, I'd focus on the seemingly shady JEA deal. And being the first female mayor at a time when women are winning elections. Really, anything other than crime, since that's not something that just stops when you take office.

An interesting side note is that one of our past mayors was named J.E.T. before jets were invented. And another mayor "transitioned" while in office (he began as a Democrat and left as a Republican). Oh, and racism: for a few years, the city charter was changed so that Jacksonville's own citizens couldn't elect the mayor because they'd elected a Republican. Instead, the city council (members appointed by the governor) elected the mayor. Could you imagine not having a direct say in your mayor, let alone your city council? But we do have a say, which is why Anna Brosche wants to scare up some support.
Thanks for reading. See more of my content:

Satisfamily - Articles about being happy as a family
Passive Ninja - Web Design in Jacksonville
McNewsy - Creative Writing
Educabana - Educational Resources
Brave New Church - Church Website Design
Voucher School - Pros and Cons of School Vouchers
Luthernet - Web Design for Lutheran Churches
Sitcom Life Lessons - What we've learned from sitcoms
Mancrush Fanclub - Why not?
Epic Folktale - Stories of the unknown
Wild West Allis - Every story ever told about one place
Educabana on Teachers Pay Teachers (mostly ELA lessons)
Real Wisconsin News - Satire from Wisconsin
Zoo Interchange Milwaukee - Community website
Chromebook Covers - Reviews and opinions

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