El Paso is like that really nice girl with the shitty boyfriend who treats her badly and maybe hits her when they’re alone. The boyfriend is local government.
The movers and shakers pulling the strings behind local government are like evil stepparents, pimping their stepdaughter out. They want to see what they can get out of her, and when they can’t get anything else, they’ll adopt another kid.
The local newspapers are like the boyfriend’s best friends. They excuse his behavior, and even endorse it. “Hey, it’s all good,” they say. They want to hang out with the boyfriend, and get invited to his next party. They like the girl all right, but they know who’s in charge, and they’re not strong enough or principled enough to speak out.
The local politicians running for office are all trying to be her next shitty boyfriend, sucking up to the movers and shakers trying to pimp her out, so she gets passed from one abusive relationship to the next.
Everybody wants to see what they can get out of her, and nobody wants to take care of her. Nobody loves her enough to stand up for her. Nobody wants to speak out, because they might make people uncomfortable, especially the movers and the shakers.
The electorate, the eligible voters who don’t vote, are like the people who know what’s going on but feel powerless to stop it. So they avoid the couple, and try to pretend that it’s not their problem, or not happening. They just ignore it, hoping someone else will step up to take care of it.