Often after a major national or international incident, I spend a fair amount of time reflecting on the incident and its possible ramifications. Needless to say, our recent Presidential Election gave us all reason to pause and sort things out. Jeez!
Adding to the “Jeez,” I visited my daughter and her family in Arizona this past weekend where, as you know, political attitudes often are dramatically different from ours in the great Northwest! I mean, Jeez!
Well, just so everyone knows, I didn’t vote for either of the two leading Presidential candidates. And six of my family members (wife, three children, son-in-law and I) voted for four different candidates. There, all of the disclosures are now public, but without specific attribution!
My first opportunity to vote was for John F. Kennedy for President; so, as they say, “I’ve been around the block a few times” with contentious local, state and national elections. And I’m sure many of you have knowledge of “rough and tumble” races – but few, I believe, as “rough and tumble” as this year’s.
We are all sick of words or phrases like: “basket of deplorables”; “groping”; “email servers”; “crooked Hillary”; and “nasty woman”. How much punishment are we expected to endure? Now we have protest marches and appointments to argue over, not to mention the popular vote versus the Electoral College. And while I know many of our national campaigns have been filled with rancor going back as far as John Adams versus Thomas Jefferson, this election felt far and away more personal and strident than any others I have observed.
Last week after the election, an Edmonds woman who was terribly upset with the election outcome “went off” about her personal feelings. She was outraged with the winner of the Presidential election and crushed the “glass ceiling” had not been broken with a highly qualified candidate. Yet, after her anger subsided, she doubled back to beautifully articulate our need to cherish what we have in the United States. While I can’t recapture her exact words, it was along the lines of – when will we fully understand and appreciate our history, our quality of life, our democratic process, our beautiful country, fabulous state and the gift we have with Edmonds?
I found her passion inspiring, and was moved by her ability to express the underlying values we have and must sustain. While angry with the election outcome, she values the good we share in our country.
On a local level, your seven councilmembers and I will not let rancorous national politics get in the way of our duty to make decisions which are good for the community and region and that keep Edmonds a safe, secure, prosperous and vital city. We will undoubtedly have differences, but we all want the best for Edmonds.
In closing, you recall I mentioned six voters in my family who voted for four different Presidential candidates. Well, guess what? We are still family! Even though we argued about and had differing opinions on who would make the best President, we are still family who eat together, talk together, value together and love together. A goal we should all seek as members of this great community.
— By Dave Earling, Mayor