Here in Delaware County, we have a nickname for a branch of Democrats. It’s called 214. What is 214? Where is it? What does it mean?
To begin we need to go back decades when Muncie was a small and thriving metropolis labeled as Middletown. A typical American city with not so typical politics. Smack dab in the middle of government buildings, attorney offices, and an infamous jail sits the headquarters of the local Democrat party. 214 N. Walnut.
It seems there was always some type a bruhaha around election time and every day is election time down at 214 N. Walnut. Even when it isn’t an election year.
Take for example the 2003 mayoral race. The former Democrat chair of the party stepped down to run for mayor. Although all candidates were promised a level playing field one candidate complained because his campaign signs continued to fall off the windows of 214 N.Walnut. Most likely due to generic scotch tape. The candidate, his mother and his campaign manager went to headquarters and gathered up his campaign paraphernalia. He ran independently from headquarters and won, but the ex-Dem chair lost in the general election by less than 500 votes.
Never a dull moment.
2008 is the year it began to heat-up. Judicial candidates were asked to donate to party headquarters. They refused to “pay to play” and were shunned. Party rules were updated, candidates distanced themselves from headquarters, poll books found in the trash. The newspaper reported threatening telephone calls, cold shoulders, nasty letters and destruction of property. It looked as if Democrat Headquarters was going to implode.
One lone citizen penned an essay “Fahrenheit 214” and published it on the political forum of the newspaper. It created quite a firestorm, pardon the pun. Out of this came the name “214” and it encompassed any Democrat who aligned themselves with party leadership.
214 is far more than the address of the Democrat Headquarters, it’s a mindset. In other words, you don’t need to be sitting in the backroom of headquarters to have the mind and heart of a 214er. Some Democrats will vehemently say “I am a Democrat, but I’m not a 214 Democrat.” They think of it only as a place. Never once considering their actions and thoughts fit the very definition of 214.
We’ve had decades of corruption, infighting, election issues, malfeasance. Today in Middletown, USA it makes all the past decades look like a walk in the park. As they raked in the dough on the backs of the people, you can almost hear “Let them eat cake.”