Why I will vote for Bruce Plesser today

A while back, after Bruce Plesser qualified to run for the Ward 1 seat in Gulfport, he called me. He asked what I thought of him.

I had the words on my tongue: “I think you’re a professional shit disturber” — and then it hit me: that’s exactly what people have said about me, most notably when I worked for The Gabber and was paid to write an opinion column. It was, in essence, my job to get people talking and thinking. That meant, in many people’s eyes, I was a “professional shit disturber” and often times that one facet of my whole self was all people chose to see. They didn’t see my passion, my kindness, my vulnerability — or my intentions.

So I closed my mouth, not wanting to dash off a judgment based on a person I’d never spoken a word to in real life, and, instead, I listened to Bruce — the person, not the online persona — and I found that I liked him. I mean, he seems like a nice guy to have political debate with. A little self-centered, maybe, but given that he’s running for office, he kind of has to be, and it’s not as though anyone’s ever accused his opponent of looking outward more than inward.

That all said, if the past two years had gone differently, I’d probably still vote for his opponent, the incumbent. But I’m not. And here’s why:

I’ve not spent any time in person with Bruce, but I have with his opponent. And I know the incumbent’s heart because he’s pretty ballsy about showing his true colors, especially when it comes to national and state politics, and even St. Pete’s mayoral race where he bought advertising to trash Kriseman (and, hey, isn’t Kriseman a liberal Jew? I’m sure there’s no connection there because we all know the current national leadership is all about love, amirite?).

As of the 2016 presidential election and the hate mongering it’s allowed to bubble forth, I’m no longer a moderate Dem — I’m way the hell out in left field and I’m not coming back anytime soon. And you know what? I’ll take anyone over a gun-toting Trump supporter who doesn’t believe all humans deserve basic healthcare. Bruce’s opponent has always been nice enough to me, and Gulfport elections are nonpartisan in name, but I cannot, in good conscience, vote for someone who supports Trump and the party that put him there.

Bruce isn’t perfect. I’ve talked to him on the phone and I have seen him on social media. But I’ve watched his opponent try and trash St. Pete’s mayor on social media, all to try get a man in office who supports Trump. I’ll take a human with imperfections and a liberal soul and conscience over a human with imperfections and a Trump-supporting agenda. I can’t vote for someone who supports a political party that looks the other way on machine guns killing kids, or pushes the idea that Planned Parenthood sold or sells baby parts. 

Bruce isn’t perfect. I’ve seen it online, sure. But I’ve also seen his opponent use his station on council to bash President Obama when we wanted to support LGBT rights on a national level. Tell me again how Gulfport city council elections are nonpartisan?

Bruce isn’t perfect. But we currently have two Trump supporters on city council and if we lose a liberal majority in next year’s election, I see a lot of things we all love about Gulfport — diversity embraced, programming for people who can’t otherwise afford it, and social programming — on the chopping block to cut taxes (which are minimal compared to county, school board and water management district taxes). Even if Bruce loses today, we still have the liberal majority (Yay, Paul Ray, Michael Fridovich and Mayor Sam), but what happens next year? What if someone beats Fridovich next year who’s like Bruce’s opponent, politically? What happens if Sam chooses not to run again and we get the equivalent of Rick Baker as mayor?

I can assure you the new Republican party is working long and hard to keep every republican in office, at every station. Democrats and all Regan Republicans need to get our shit together and keep every Dem, everywhere, in office — and get more of them in office whenever we can.

See, I’ve endorsed Mr. Plesser’s opponent in the past, but it’s a new world. I no longer can support someone who has done some good things for Gulfport when they’ve been clear and vocal that they do support 45 — a man aligned with Putin, who blames Jews for any interference in the 2016 elections, a man who says gun control isn’t the issue, “racial disparity” is, a man who feels that money is above all else. So, no disrespect to the incumbent, who will most likely win because, well, incumbents rarely lose in Gulfport, but my core values will no longer allow me to support any republican, anywhere.

Good luck, Bruce Plesser for Gulfport City Council. I’m voting for you today. If you can vote in Gulfport, I encourage you to do the same. Don’t do it for me, or even for Bruce. Do it for #theResistance.


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I write. I take pictures. I love my dog. I love Florida. My 2016 book, 'Backroads of Paradise' did really well for the publisher and now I feel a ridiculous amount of pressure to finish the second book.

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