Have you ever had a hangnail? When you discovered it, did you think, “How did I get this hangnail?” Immediately, you began to think about how painful it will be to remove said hangnail. Along with the pain, you think about the possibility of your finger bleeding. You contemplate the alternative of allowing the hangnail to maintain residence until you understand that the hangnail most likely will become infected and ooze something unrecognizable.
Courageously, you pull out the hangnail, pour a bottle of peroxide over your bleeding finger, squeeze a tube of pain relief cream on a band-aid, and cover up the post-surgery finger. In less than a week, you forget that you had a hangnail.
Too many of the St. Louis politicians have become Hangnails and it is time that they are removed so that St. Louis can begin to heal from years of leadership who have pretended to be powerless or refuse to work together for the greater good of the St. Louis citizens.
If Hangnail Politicians are so bad, why do we keep them?
The issue with Hangnail Politicians is that we prefer them. We are comfortable with their complacency when challenging issues arise. Voter apathy prevails, and we no longer hold them accountable; that is if they allow themselves to be held accountable to citizens instead of corporations or big money donors.
We know that it will be painful to remove a known abuser. We have gotten use to Hangnail Politicians attacking new growth and progressive politicians that are working diligently to make St. Louis a livable & attractive city for new industries. Plus, we know Hangnails coming around once every two or four years during election season.
Hangnail Politicians offer NO SOLUTIONS. They are quick to release an editorial to remind us of the hardships that the St. Louis citizens endure every day; as if we had forgotten our persistent traumatic stress disorder.
How do we get rid of Hangnail Politicians?
St. Louis will need more than the typical voter registration drives that happen during election seasons. An effective, educational, and emotional plea must accompany each new voter registration. We must critically reflect on rather or not an incumbent (or candidate) is offering solutions for growth that are community-oriented or are they feeding into the capitalistic politics that will maintain the status quo. Most importantly, a culture of voter engagement must be developed between high school students with the senior citizens in their communities.
It is going to take the right hand to remove the hangnails from the left hand and vice versa. St. Louis must establish and/or enhance its neighborhood political organizations to repair the communities after a Hangnail Politician is removed. Most people are pushed by pain until they are pulled by vision. When all our fingers are hangnail-free, we will have more hands working towards a Unified Vision for St. Louis!