Updated: Apr 27
I wasn’t always this way.
When I joined the military, I didn’t know much about politics. I registered as a Republican because they were the party that was supposed to take care of the armed forces, and I didn’t really see a difference between the rhetoric on other issues. I was not what one would call an “informed voter”. Within a few years, without changing a single opinion, I had left the Republican party.
I started to see I didn’t have too much in common with the Republican party, even if I found validity to some of their ideas. I agreed government interference in private businesses could be bad, but without it, there wouldn’t be a minimum wage and we’d still have lead in our paint. I accepted the idea that a state could have the right to maintain sovereignty from federal overreach, but we needed national laws to ensure citizens were protected even after moving from one state to another.
Work became a little bit more fun. I had wonderful conversations and debates with co-workers that were never mean, nor meant to change minds. Conversations centered around a little give and take. Some days I’d agree the Republicans made the right call on a bill while folks sitting across from me would compliment the work of some Democratic politicians.
Democratic and Republican voters all had one thing in common. Every citizen wants the country to succeed at being the best version of itself.
So, what happened? When did it all change?
A few years ago, political debates devolved into an arena of stupidity we will probably never recover from. We went from politicians debating ideas and paths forward to obstructing a bill just because it was supported by the folks with a different letter next to their name. We stopped agreeing 2+2=4 and started to just assume everything said by the other side was a lie. How can you negotiate in good faith with people who don’t know who won the presidential election? How can we sit at a table, hammer out a deal that works for everybody, when folks won’t respect the knowledge and suggestions of professionals?
I can promise two things moving forward. I’m never going to claim to know everything about a subject and I’m never going to promise the moon when all we have is a paper airplane. Sorry, but your taxes aren't going to go down. I can stop the rise, but what's done is done. It’s important elected leaders consult experts to make decisions. It’s important that through transparency and open conversations elected officials are attuned to what the people need and want.
The people you choose to represent you on the county commission should have pure motivations and a desire to help ALL Union County residents. Sometimes the conservative answer will be the best choice, sometimes the progressive decision will help the most people. Either way, you’ll want representatives who will consider all the angles, consult multiple experts, and have open communication with you, the citizen, about the best way to move forward. As a candidate, I will strive to achieve the best outcome for everyone in Union County and do so with transparency and an open mind.