By FORREST NABORS
Anchorage badly needs an energetic, practical mayor who can solve obvious problems, will support job-sustaining businesses and is guided by traditional American principles. A vote for Mike Robbins is a vote for that kind of mayor.
Mr. Dundersnatch, some might recall, is the on-air name I ascribed to my boss when I was host of the eponymously named Forrest Nabors Show on the radio station KOAN. But truth be told, Mike Robbins was my boss and the owner of the station, and is now running for mayor. I am glad to report that Mike is nothing like the fabled Dundersnatch on the 50th floor of the mythical KOAN Tower, jealously guarding his stacks of gold bullion and T-bonds.
No, Mike was neither born with a silver spoon in his mouth nor was spoiled by his fair share of success that he has earned on his own. The real Mr. Dundersnatch rose from modest origins and is still very hard-working. Like many of us, Mike has faced personal challenges and setbacks but he overcame those challenges through perseverance, optimism, guts, the quiet renewal of his faith and a quick mind.
As one who pulled himself up by his bootstraps in good American fashion and who did not enjoy many advantages gifted to others, Mike respects character, ability, performance and results. He doesn’t care a fig for status, credentials and titles – as one should not in a free republic – when taking the measure of himself and others.
For many years Mike has been actively engaged in political and civic life, usually as a helping hand, or organizer behind the politicians. This is the first time he has thrown himself into the electoral arena. Why now? I suspect the reason has something to do with the frustration that I often heard from his office adjoining my radio booth, the same frustration that many of us felt, as bad news mounted in 2020.
Perhaps it is fair to say that the worst news last year was not the pandemic, political violence in the streets, the enthusiastic suppression of civil liberties and our disastrous national election. The worst was the shocking political theater that attended those events. Many of us could feel too keenly that partisan madness was interfering with good judgment. Some of that madness spread here from the lower 48 and infected our municipal government, as we all saw.
In times like these we need the officers of local government no less than national government to show steadiness and spine. We need them to rebuff demands that we curse and transform America, and that we submit to dystopian schemes. The premium on courage and patriotism in every office all over America has risen. Now presented to you on this year’s ballot for mayor is one candidate who understands that need and will bring the corrective to Anchorage.
Our challenges in Anchorage are not difficult to understand and are not insoluble. The problem is that in times like these, once good candidates take office their political will often disappears. I am confident that with Mike Robbins as your mayor, the appeal of radical chic will never influence municipal policy. Anchorage will not copy-cat the wild social experiments in Seattle, Portland and San Francisco and will not share in the inevitably disastrous consequences. Our city, this little patch of America where we still proudly wave the flag without apology, will not become like them as we should not.
Mike will not be deterred by partisan threats and he will work with anyone of any political stripe who aims at improving our municipality. He will apply common sense to problems. Policy supportive of job-creating businesses will be his first priority, not the last. He will respect your need to work and your civil liberties.
Under a Robbins mayoral administration, Anchorage will be back on track.
Forrest Nabors is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science at UAA, and has served on the UAA Faculty Senate since 2012. He writes in his personal capacity here.