The Agony of Defeat

21 04 2011

Well, another campaign is in the books. Defeated again.

I had high hopes this time around. We had a quality candidate, adequate resources and energized volunteers. In the end, we just didn’t have enough absentee ballots.

So Panama City has a new Mayor and there is much work to be done. If the Old Guard is to claim victory here then it is incumbent upon those ‘powers that be’ to follow through with the campaign rhetoric and lift this City out of despair.

Panama City needs jobs. Skilled jobs in high tech industry that provide a living wage. We are in danger of losing a generation of talent because of lack of opportunity. This must be addressed.

It is interesting to watch the evolution of a community. Many themes from my campaign were carried on. Issues such as poverty relating to the homeless, revitalization of Downtown and environmental procedures were debated. Hopefully, solutions are on the way.

For all the anti-government rhetoric that seems to dominate any debate in Panama City, the fact still remains that the government is the No. 1 employer here. If the private sector is the job creator, as we are led to believe, it would be nice to see some tangible evidence.

Perhaps this is sour grapes speaking. I have been unemployed going on three years now and this journey has taught me many lessons. I now know how to produce more with less. I understand value in relation to price and, most importantly, I believe in shared sacrifice.

So now the task is to fight off bitterness and the sting of another election loss. There is temptation to fold and look for opportunities elsewhere in a climate more conducive to my thinking.

I tried that before, in New York, and it didn’t work out too well.

Deep down inside, I hold faith in these losing battles as preparation for greater things to come. Perhaps, God is testing me and City leaders are watching to see if I will break.

I won’t.

I’ll find that happy place one day and, trust me, you will know it.




2 responses

22 04 2011
david altermatt

Great contemplative anylasis. Love the courage in your voice.

22 04 2011
Don Harris

My town in Michigan is going through much the same thing. We used to have a combination of manufacturing and tourism, but both have been suffering lately. The high-tech model seems to work some places. It has in Pittsburgh, where I spent some time in the late 80s, but they have a couple of first-rate universities. Michigan is trying to do some of that with retraining programs, but I don’t know if it’s working. About all I see them turning out is people with associate’s degrees in management or communications.
I’m heading down to FL tomorrow. I’ll be around for about a week — hope to see you then.

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