Voters should not follow mood to oust incumbents blindly

Published 12:10 am Sunday, March 13, 2016

Donald Trump’s amazing rise in popularity as the Republican frontrunner for nomination for president underscores a phenomenon seen even locally — voters are frustrated.

Many Trump supporters suggest their reason for voting for the businessman have more to do with their frustration over Washington politicians than with a specific trait they appreciate with Trump. Effectively, Trump is simply: an outsider.

The movement to throw out incumbents who seem to have lost touch with the people they represent is rooted in some truth. It’s difficult for someone like a U.S. congressmen or the president who are effectively citizens of Washington to avoid becoming separated, at least a bit, from Joe American.

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We’ve seen that frustration rear its head in Vidalia, where voters ousted all except one incumbent alderman. In Vidalia incumbents largely allowed a single development plan to be the deciding factor in the race.

As Natchez prepares for its municipal elections later this year, we wonder if voters have become simply impatient and will continue along the mood of the country and toss incumbents out over frustration.

Only time will tell, but elected officials who are genuinely in touch with their constituents will probably have a far better chance of retaining their seat.