In an attempt to escape the problem of personality, I turned to local issues — a shift I still recommend, although I admit that the shift was not the salve for political ills I hoped it might be. Turns out that the old saw, “all politics is local,” depends upon a public knowledgeable about local issues beyond how they impact national debates or personalities. Journalism’s center of gravity, however, had shifted to national politics and policies years ago, well before the bingeable national personality made the shift too bankable to reverse.
This isn’t slowing. This is typical: a few weeks after the November election, I attended a lunch billed as a talk about the election’s consequences for Harris County, only Harris County hardly came up. There was a little foreign policy, which at least was of interest even if it wasn't Harris County. Sen. Ted Cruz was the headliner, which made sense as Harris is his home county, but alas, he was there to talk recounts, foreign policy, and hawk his new book. Don’t ask me what it is called. I didn’t care then and I certainly don’t care now. I’m still stung about the senator.
I was a Cruz supporter, and he has turned out to be a bleak character in all this. Yes, many in the public were duped by Trump into thinking he was a patriot champion of them when he was actually a narcissist of the worst order, but Sen. Ted Cruz wasn’t duped. Unlike Joe Main Street, he knew the man. He also knew the law. He can’t plead any sort of ignorance. He knew, and supported the election objections anyway because he serves his political ambitions first. I regret my previous, uncritical support of his leadership.