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Still for You, Still for Ada, Idaho, and America
Thank you friends for the love and support you gave me in my unsuccessful run for county commissioner. Beyond that, thank you for standing for respect, honor, vision, and good governance. Thank you for standing with thoughtful decision making, common sense, fiscal responsibility, and the right thing to do. Thank you for standing for Ada and Idaho and our country. I'm proud to stand with and for you.
As I scroll through my Facebook feed, I'm thinking about our future. I'm sure you are too. Good women and men are sacrificed on the altar of political expediency. We can't escape uninformed diatribes about this and that. Oh, I know that's nothing new, but it's got to stop.
All that said, what's next?
I'll go first. Let's talk for a change about what we're for, not against.
I'm for Ada County, each of its cities, and every special district that serves us. I'm for good men and women who give up their time and treasure to listen and serve and wrestle at night with tough decisions. I'm for the opportunities they seek for our children and our future.
I'm for Idaho, this state that allows us, no, exhorts us, to live up to our potential. I'm for this bold heritage given us by tough pioneers who inhabited the land and serve as a great cloud of witnesses to every spoken word and deed. I'm for the strong sense of civic pride and responsibility that we posses. I'm for the overarching demeanor of our people which is that we are neighbors. Neighbors who help neighbors.
I'm for the United States of America and we the people. I'm for much (but not all) of our history and for our future. I'm for Agriculture that feeds us, industry that supplies us, and the economy that undergirds us. I'm for our mountains, rivers, lakes, oceans and valleys. For our public and private lands. For cities that bustle and sleepy little towns. For personal responsibility and sacrificial acts of charity. I'm for people who were here before and immigrants that joined (and will join) them. I'm thankful for the brilliance of our constitution and for our three distinct and separate branches of government, God love 'em.
And I'm for you. Whether you know it or not, we're all here for such a time as this. You, I, we have an opportunity to be our best selves, to stand for our children and our future. We're here - not to agitate for political expediency with dog whistles, guns, and clubs - but for common sense, decency, and reason. With an eye to the Golden Rule (do unto others as you would have them do to you, in case you've forgotten).
Ultimately, it comes back to each of us. Paraphrasing here, it's because of those who have been given much, much is expected. We have an obligation to participate in good faith. To play by the rules. To behave honorably.
Look, I know politics is not fun. It's the price we pay for governance, hopefully good. It's hard to know who to support, but we have to step up and support people for the right reasons. Don't give your vote to those who are willing to do anything to get it. Don't give your vote to women and men who are not respectful of all people and all political perspectives - whether they ascribe to them or not. Don't give your vote to people who don't care how hard you work to pay your taxes and spend accordingly. Finally, don't give your vote to candidates whose apparent goal is to attain power for their own ends at the expense of others. Sooner or later the pendulum swings and you too will be an other.
Our ability to think and act differently than others is to be cherished, not extinguished. It's what makes us Americans. Look for leaders who understand that their job is to lead those with whom they agree and those with whom they don't.
I believe in my heart of hearts that we will get it right. This is just a particularly bumpy patch. Don't let your souls be overrun by those who would trample them.
Stand tall, people. I'm not giving up. Neither should you.