Yes, this man is from Seattle, but what he demonstrated is a nationwide problem: the political elite doesn’t give two sh!ts about the people they represent. The Seattle voter wanted to address the council’s obvious disinterest in the people of Seattle, and he sure got it. Watch:
The man asked the council to actually look at him while he was speaking. Instead of paying attention, Councilwoman Debora Juarez scolds the man for wasting his 120 seconds while others, like Kshama Sawant and Lorena Gonzalez were swiping and typing on their cell phones, not caring what the man had to say. He’s not a professional activist bussed in to back some union-driven agenda; he’s not a donor to a campaign. He is just a Seattle voter and, in this city, these voices don’t matter.
Firstly, how rude do you have to be not to pay attention to a soft-spoken old dude just asking for your attention? He’s clearly not some lunatic screaming about the patriarchy. He’s not some pussy-hatted, fringe feminist complaining about heteronormative societal expectations. He’s not an LGBTQ member (that I’m aware) with quadruple pieced ears, a pierced septum, rainbow hair, bitching about bathrooms…
..wait. Is that the problem? He’s just a normal, taxpaying individual and therefore, means jack shit?
“It’s real discouraging to come up here and see all the heads down, it’s like…,” the man said before being interrupted by Juarez telling him “…you’re on a two minute timer here, so let’s go.” For a moment, Councilmember Mike O’Brien looked up from his phone.
During an election, voters get plenty of attention via anal smoke therapy. But once politicians ascend to what they see are thrones of power, suddenly voters are put on timers. Suddenly all the love and promises evaporate.
I get the timer issue. I’ve listened to enough talk radio to hear a caller who’s enamored with their own voice and needs to shut the hell up. I’m sure the same happens at city council meetings. But the larger point still stands: this man is a voter, he wants his voice heard, and I’d daresay he has a right to be heard. Yet the council doesn’t give a damn what he has to say. And that, right there, is the problem we’re having with our elected officials. They don’t actually care about us, they want to be in power for themselves and their own agendas and treat us with rude indifference when we point it out. Related: Top Five Reasons We NEED the Electoral College.