By Mariela Hudson
Must I opine, dear readers?
You already know how this is going to go. I’ll write something about the unfortunate results of this Tuesday’s mayoral election and my editor, September Knight, will hack it down to a more sanitized version for your consumption.
But I’m not one to hold my tongue even though the effort proves fruitless.
So I must ask: How the hell could you elect a braggart like Mr. Devlin Thomas into public office? Like seriously? How?!
Perhaps it’s our own fault. Most of us here at Hollow Weekly refused to print too many stories about Thomas in protest of his election bid. The times we at the newsroom tried to engage him, he claimed we were malevolent spirits trying to curse his campaign. He threw salt at the press on multiple occasions, readers, and it wasn’t even the good kind. The time he tried to stake our editor during a local press conference was well publicized on social media accounts and sparked public outrage for a good week back in January.
Besides that, it was always the same story. Thomas says something offensive, the town reacts, everyone’s offended but not offended enough, rinse, repeat. You know, scandals lose their fun if they happen frequently. Then it’s just “the norm.” “The norm” ceases to be real news.
But Devlin Thomas could prove to be the downfall of our community and I intend to remind you why.
Devlin Thomas announced his campaign bid last June in St. Thomas Chapel on Dead Street. He posited himself as the “Normal” candidate and went on one of his signature rants about the state of Hollow Grove as a “Haven of the Wicked.”
No one took him seriously. Devlin Thomas always flirted with the idea of running for mayor but there was really no need from a power standpoint since he already had a few council members in his pocket. He was already the self-appointed head of a property firm– a firm that owns a good portion of the housing properties in the surrounding counties.
During his actual campaign, he repeatedly made headlines through his hateful rhetoric. First, he called all local werewolves vicious killers and cannibals. One of his main mayoral promises was to dedicate city funds to uproot innocent werewolf families out of Hollow Grove and into the neighboring town of Moonlight Bay.
After that, he went from one outrage to another. Among his most egregious statements, he said zombies didn’t deserve special treatment for only surviving living, vampires were stealing jobs from our productive blood industry, and that our current inept bureaucracy wasn’t just inept but corrupt–promising to root out monied interest in favor of magical interest. He also joked about how he made a hobby of slaying dwindling dragon populations and harmless beast tribes.
His town halls were cauldrons of controversy. He whipped crowds into a frenzy, using divisive language to preach against the disease of the supernatural and how it was overtaking reason and normalcy.
Despite this, his supporters tended to downplay his general temperament and the hateful rhetoric he spewed on the daily. They like to highlight his policies, particularly his economic ones for his credentials as a credible leader. His history as a businessman is a bona fide guarantee that he would be a successful candidate in the eyes of many of those who looked up to him.
But what policies are they referring to exactly?
He’s flip-flopped on many an issue in the last year and a half and has been notoriously vague on others. Granted, he has a few good ideas. Perhaps our Restrictive Rites’ Law that forbids outside businesses from investing in the community without a payment of the soul should be looked into. And yes, we do need to look more into cutting down city spending in some sectors of our economy. At the same time, however, he says that we have to lower our city’s debt while also claiming that he’ll cut taxes across the board. You can’t do both especially since the details are kind of lost in all the rhetoric his supporters insist we gloss over. He claims to be the champion of the average hardworking citizen but if he really wanted to help keep money in their pocket, why not raise the minimum wage? Perhaps it’s because it’s a measure Thomas has opposed as a businessman as well as a politician.
He wants to trim the fat off community spending to the detriment of those who truly need it. One of his major targets has been the Supernatural Security Bill which proves fundamental in protecting the rights of those within the magical community. It promises safe haven for all people of supernatural parentage, allowing support systems that help them integrate into the community. It’s by no means perfect. The bill is currently marred by a lot of bureaucratic red tape and it’s a heavy financial weight on our city’s economy but it also shows our commitment to helping those most vilified by society. Stripping it from the books without any real plan to replace it will put a lot of local families in danger.
But Thomas doesn’t care about this.His brashness and unwillingness to concede are confused with honesty and toughness. He’s not a man to think of the full implication for any of the things he says or does. He’s proven time and time again the dearth of his political knowledge and how out of touch he is with the community at large.
This was even more clear with his dealing with his political opponent Hally Clementine. She was set to make history as Hollow Grove’s first apotamkin mayor.
Thomas’ smear campaigns calling her a sinister snake were completely uncalled for. It spread hate among the reptilian citizens among us. He pointed to unrelated incidences of monster attacks to paint her as a vicious beast that deserved slaying.
Clementine is no saint. She may have sold our secrets to other neighboring towns and may have eaten a person or two in her two hundred year existence but she would have been a positive influence on this town. There were many reasons to doubt her but she’s a politician. At least she had the experience and demeanor to carry herself as a leader.
There are many people out there saying that we should just accept our new mayor. “Give him chance to run,” they scream. This is particularly true among Normalson and his gang. But that’s really hard for most in this town when Thomas poses such an existential threat to them.
But what do I know?
My family hails from a long tradition of magic and have roots in the community that extend beyond its founding. Many of us here in the newsroom would tell you something similar. Our hearts beat for this community which has become our homr. No matter where Thomas’ policies lead us, we will continue to act in the communities best interest with the utmost journalistic integrity.
Edited by Regina Carlisle