For years, I’ve been telling Steve Morrison that he should run for office. Every time I hear him speak to a community group, I am struck by his quiet conviction, by the fact that he deeply cares about people, particularly the dispossessed (such as the kids in poor, rural school districts, on whose behalf he has led a long, long pro bono quest through the state’s courts).
But he always sloughed it off, modestly, thereby completing the picture of the quintessential Guy Who Ought to Run for Office But Never Does.
And now he’s thinking about running for office, and I’m not sure what to think. Says Steve:
“If I run, I will be running … to stand for visionary leadership over divisiveness, big-picture interests over pedestrian politics, solid management over risky alternatives and unity over racial discord.”
However, the interesting thing about this situation is that if he does run, he will bring not unity but a sword — one that will messily slice apart the set of people likely to vote for long-declared candidate Steve Benjamin.
You see what would happen, don’t you? If he runs, he and Mr. Benjamin will split the all-important People Who Will Vote for a Guy Named Steve vote. (OK, no more bogus Long-Winded Terms in Capital Letters — at least until the next post.)
Seriously, though, Morrison would likely draw from the same sources — heavily black precincts and Shandon — that Benjamin has been almost surely been counting on ever since Bob Coble dropped out. In other words, for those of you who prefer partisan terms (even in a race that should be blessedly free of such), the Democrats.
This means a likely win for Kirkman Finlay III. Which you might think is a good thing, but if you don’t, then you’ve got to look on a development that splits the Steve vote with some concern. You might say to them, “Hey, the essence of democracy is a wide-open selection, and anyone willing to run should be encouraged to do so, especially when it’s a good guy like Steve Morrison.” Which would be the Civics 101 thing to say. But there is a truth universally acknowledge in politics, that a single man in possession of a good fortune… no wait… wrong cliche. What I meant was, there is a truth universally acknowledged in politics, which is that once a guy with whom you might be expected to agree on a lot of things puts in a lot of time and money on the campaign trail, if you announce against him, it’s personal — as in, you’ve got a beef with the guy. Or you’re carrying water for the other guy. Or something.
When I talk to Steve (Morrison), I’m going to ask him about these things, and whether they matter, or should matter. I wasn’t going to post until I HAD talked to Steve, but I needed to go ahead and post something, it having been two days since I read the news.