A while back, former Minerva Councilman and Deputy Mayor Phil Davison (“America’s Councilman“) wrote the following to me in a Facebook message. As he discusses his political prospects, Davison makes a short but profound statement about American politics.
The speech is what put me in this position [as America’s Councilman]. Unfortunately, I don’t know how to proceed.
I think about public policy frequently. But no matter what position I take, everything comes back tomoney. It takes money to run campaigns. And lots of it. So no matter what my philosophy or theory is on an issue, that same philosophy or theory is rendered meaningless by the fact that money wins elections, nothing else. So what my opinion on abortion, gun control or immigration is doesn’t really matter.
I do not want to be the person who writes letters to the editor, or organizes small town marches. So when I think public policy, I think what utility does it have?
The answer to me is none. I would love to engage in policy discussions, but what does that get me? And where does that get me?
What I need is for someone who is in an elevated position to move me forward. By elevated position I mean a producer, a director, a talk show host, a correspondent, to advance my position. And that hasn’t happened.
Davison is a free speech advocate best known for his passionate 2010 speech that went viral, precipitating a media frenzy. He briefly sought the Boston Tea Party’s 2012 presidential nomination and is currently considering a 2016 run for president.