South Bend Needs More Republicans

Posted: January 7, 2010 in Politics, South Bend

I know.  I feel a little queasy just writing it.  In case I just offended you Republicans – don’t worry – I would have the same queasiness if I were to substitute “Democrats” for Republicans in the title.  I love politics.  But I have a disdain for both parties and I lean towards some radical opinions regarding “voting” and the “kingdoms of this world.”  If you buy me lunch at a fancy restaurant, I’ll share them with you.


I write this because I read an interesting article Sunday in the paper where the South Bend Tribune is doing a series of interviews with different people about what they think South Bend will look like in 2020.  The interviewee was Lou Nanni (VP of public relations at Notre Dame – prior to that he was the Director of the Center for the Homeless).  During the interview he said this:

“I think we have suffered in this community for the fact that we don’t have a stronger Republican Party. … I say this as somebody (whose) affiliation is with the Democratic Party. When you have one-party rule, whether it’s Democrats or Republicans, it’s not healthy in the long run. … We need the Republicans to run stronger candidates, especially on the (South Bend) city level. Because it will keep everybody more honest, more accountable, and bring in a fresh set of ideas. It will also make the politicians more responsive to the electorate and less to the party structure.”

I think he is right.  South Bend is solidly Democrat by way of politics.  So much so, that it appears unless you are a Democrat, you cannot get elected to office, no matter the power of your integrity and ideas.  I wonder what would happen, if at the very least, there was greater competition between the two parties AND I would be curious what would happen if there was a Republican administration.

Mishawaka, while not perfect, is not experiencing the decline in residence and business like we are.  I know there are lots of reasons why that is the case but I can’t help but wonder if one factor might be that Mishawaka’s mayor and administration is Republican.  “I’m just saying…” (that phrase allow me to say whatever I want and be dismissive of whatever offense I may have caused) 🙂

What is interesting is that out of South Bend’s districts, only one district, and one councilmen is Republican. David Varner of the 5th district.  Do you know what side of South Bend the 5th district is on?  The South Side.  Does it hurt the South Side that our councilmen is the LONE Republican.

Just curious.

  1. Jim Ruth says:

    We have a “one lever” mentality in South Bend. If you look at the returns on November elections, you will notice that virtually all city wide office races have the same 60-40 or 70-30 percent differentials. And though Nanni is correct, it would take the electorate to think for themselves instead of doing what the well oiled machine led by Owen Morgan (St. Joseph County Democratic Party Chairman)tells them to do. You have to give them credit. They have done what they set out to do. They have energized their people and by doing so empowered their candidates to govern. But in the midst of those victories have they governed well? Well enough to keep getting elected, is the answer.

  2. david says:

    I can’t believe that The Bishop hasn’t pounced on this post yet.

    I think “politics” in it’s true sense (i.e., the way communities arrange themselves and interact) is VERY important with respect to the Kingdom of God. Unfortunately, “political parties” and politicians in America seem to run counter to the the Kingdom of God. Oh, that the followers of Jesus would live out “politics” in a way that reflects the Kingdom…

  3. The Bishop says:

    David, I was in the middle of reading Luke 15:11-31 when an inner impulse said, go and read Sam’s blog. It was a miracle! I am now standing here with my new shoes and a robe (both in Sam’s size, by the way) and am so glad that the son who, after feeding in the hog trough, realized it was time to change political affiliation. May his tribe increase.

  4. whoa whoa whoa “The Bishop”! I have not changed political affiliations, or my views on both parties (so no…I won’t be watching Glenn Beck or listening to Rush Limbaugh [speaking of hog troughs 🙂 ]…purely an assessment of what I think might be in the best interest of South Bend.

  5. The Bishop says:

    The father still gazes hopefully for the “return.”

  6. Carl says:

    I think there are more issues at play: tax breaks for businesses, desired clientele, informed populace. But I agree: competition is always better because it punishes laziness.

  7. Doug says:

    All apologies, but not voting is a failure to take an advantage of an opportunity to communicate truth to power. Voting is one of the ways–certainly not the only one–to reveal to leaders who, like Pilate, would not have power if our Father in heaven did not permit it–that by extension, they have the ultimate responsibility/accountability to the King of Kings/Kingdom of Heaven values.

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