The Problem with Blindly Voting for Your Demographic…


This cartoon would have been in the Biz Journal next week, but the editors passed on it. So I’m posting it here. Think of this as the reduced price bin….

Here’s what I was trying to get at. The press has seized upon the unique makeup of this year’s presidential candidates, and not without merit. While a pleasingly high percentage of voters have managed to cross race and gender lines to support candidates who don’t happen to look exactly like themselves, there are still quite a few who have been voting strictly within their demographic. Taken to an extreme, that’s a bad idea.

Two others stories are looped into this. The less obvious one — this week Grand Rapids chose two new leaders for its police department, both from within its ranks, both with their own strengths but pretty much equally qualified. The chief is a white man, the deputy is black man. There were many who felt strongly that this should have been reversed. Some based solely on his race. Again, bad idea.

The other story is the ongoing shenanigans of the mayor of Detroit, Kwame Kilpatrick. Illicit affair. Spend taxpayer money to cover up. Lie. Get caught. Incredibly uncomfortable public apology. Ongoing questions. In summary, an otherwise skilled politician doing breathtakingly stupid things. Sound familiar?

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