Letter to the editor: When party politics invade Edmonds

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Editor:

I commend those who choose to run for public office. The scrutiny, the embellishment of truths, the double standards applied to candidates by many is a heavy weight to carry.

It is no doubt a weight that many won’t and choose not to carry. And so some who don’t run take the easy road and personally attack the candidate and any view that doesn’t align with their own, instead of attempting to understand the other person’s point of view.

What happened to, “I’m curious to know…?”

As I read through comments it really does sadden me to see that civility seems to be a dying principle. The “opposition” must be evil and unfit — regardless of whatever side of an issue you are on.

Yet, I’m still hopeful that not all is lost. There is common ground.

Find the one percent (1%) you agree on and give it 100% of your effort and you’ll likely find you have more in common than not. I’ve had to apply this principle in most of my professional career; believe it or not, not all of us who have served in uniform think alike — but we do have one thing in common — to defend and uphold the principles of our Constitution. We love this country.

And that means we actually have to play nice with those who think differently than us. One team, one fight.

I’m choosing to believe that all the candidates who are running for both council and mayor share a common platform — they love Edmonds. They may have different visions for Edmonds, some are likely more qualified at this point to hold certain positions than others, and there is no question that a few have had to make difficult decisions that aren’t always popular. But remember, there are always two sides to every story…and decision.

Seek to understand before being understood and you’ll win a friend.

No one likes to be wrong. No one likes to screw up. My team would often hear me say something like, “well, based on what we know, here’s the decision. Now let’s work like hell to make it the right one.” That is especially true for those men and women I’ve interviewed who have been in combat operations. You pray to God that you get it right. It doesn’t always happen.

Fortunately, from what I know, there are no life-ending decisions for our city on the ballot this fall.

What I also know is that these elected positions for mayor and for council are non-partisan — meaning: party politics shouldn’t have a seat at the table. Yet, I see party politics invading our city — and it is quite apparent with some on our current council. If you vote “party” you are doing this city a disservice. Vote the candidate whom you align with on the vision for Edmonds — not party line.

It truly is freeing to be party agnostic — but it does require one to be objective and evaluate the issues.

I know. You’ll vote however you choose to vote. But perhaps, if you’re undecided, you’ll not cast your vote because “you like the person” or they align with your political party but rather because you found alignment in the vision for Edmonds.

Mike Schindler
Edmonds

 

13 Replies to “Letter to the editor: When party politics invade Edmonds”

    1. Follow the money and we’ll find who will be influencing the decisions of each candidate. Will it be local support or outside influences?

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  1. I think all of Mike Nelson’s endorsements are party leaders I was really surprised to see that.

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  2. With the caveat that I’m supporting Mr. Shipley, because I think he is the best choice for Edmonds, with what I think is Edmond’s current highly flawed system of government, I would point out that NOT voting for Mr. Nelson or people running for lesser office just because they are Democrats, is as bad an idea and flawed judgement, as voting for them because they are. Both positions represent an “invasion of political parties into Edmond’s politics”. It’s also not fair to vote against Mr. Nelson just because he may have higher political ambitions. Ideas and visions are what should be the basis for voting for or against someone.

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  3. Mike, great thoughts. Maybe you have launched an idea to allow us to sort out what is party politics? Every time an issue pops up the “left” and “right” jump all over it with good but opposing uncompromising point. Guns is an example. It is always the same list that each side trots out.
    What looks to be the case is the “left” is attempting to gather power at all levels of government and I am “curious to know” why? Is it to gain support for more local decision making or more centralized decision making? State Law typically wins over local law. Our governor on national TV talked a bit about climate but then something that was far more revealing. Not quoting here but he basically said he has a plan to increase unionization. I don’t know what that means but it probably has something to do with income transfer ideas, minimum wage increases, changing tax structures, and solidifying a collective power base to advance other concepts that I for one are not quite skilled enough to understand.

    At this point it might do us all well to try to understand what the “agenda” is of the “left” and “right” to help us all understand what our vote may mean at all levels of government.

    I would propose we carefully craft some responses here that help us understand various agenda. If we simply introduce and idea without all the “point and counter point” stuff we may all learn what’s at stake in this election.

    I’ll start with some ideas:
    Right: Less infringement on individual and property rights. More road dollars (mostly eastern WA because that is where the “right” is concentrated. No income tax. But other than opposing, what does the “right” want?
    Left: More union power. More central control, “pay attention to Olympia” Add a “graduated” income tax not an income tax that is based on “tax income as property” (allowed in WA). More forms of income transfer.

    Maybe others can offer some ideas that they understand to be part of the platforms of both sides. Please keep the verbal bombs to a minimum. This is the time to gather and see what we can learn about both sides, then later we can get to the key boards and shout without listening.
    I am “Curious to Know” if anyone will help us learn together?

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    1. Great idea Darrol. I’d love to see each candidate roll out Five Reasons They are The Right Fit for Edmonds (these are policy or leadership positions) and then Five Reasons Why Some Might Not Think So. Some might suggest this is political suicide but I’d find it rather refreshing and authentic.

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      1. Really cool idea Mike. Maybe each candidate could put forward their own Devils Advocate, someone honest and doesnt mind being hated for asking tough questions.

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  4. Darrol,

    This is a good start. I am curious how you would respond to the following changes and additions to your summarizations of Left and Right. I’ll put my input in CAPS, not because I’m angry, but since I can’t color the typeface.

    Right: SMALLER GOVERNMENT. Less infringement on individual and property rights. FEWER SERVICES FOR THE POOR AND DISADVANTAGED. LESS FUNDING FOR EDUCATION. More road dollars (mostly eastern WA because that is where the “right” is concentrated. No income tax. But other than opposing, what does the “right” want?

    Left: GREATER CONCERN FOR THE LITTLE GUY….THE POOR AND DISADVANTAGED. COMMITMENT TO A GOOD EDUCATION AND QUALITY HEALTH AND DENTAL CARE AS A RIGHT FOR ALL. FAIRER TAXATION TO MAKE SURE EVERYONE IN OUR WEALTHY COUNTRY IS HEALTHY AND WELL EDUCATED SO THEY ARE FIT FOR MILITARY SERVICE AND DON’T BECOME A BURDEN ON SOCIETY. (DELETE: More union power. More central control, “pay attention to Olympia” Add a “graduated” income tax not an income tax that is based on “tax income as property” (allowed in WA). More forms of income transfer.) THE LEFT ARE NO KEENER ON PAYING HIGHER TAXES OR MORE TAXES THAN THE RIGHT. THEY JUST WANT TO MAKE SURE TAXATION IS FAIR.

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  5. Totally agree with Darrol about trying to define the concepts of “Right” and “Left” and what they actually stand for in terms of keeping party politics out of Edmond’s city government. I once read something to the effect that we are actually born tending Conservative (Right) or Liberal (Left). Personally, I think it is more a factor of what you grew up with in your nuclear family. I think people tend to either totally embrace what they grew up hearing constantly, or totally reject it because they feel brainwashed by it. Not sure about causation here.

    A couple years ago, I made the decision to try to throw all the dogma based ideologies out of my life. Anything that pre determined what I was supposed to think and do about any given idea, concept or action. As a result my thinking totally turned around on a lot things, particularly religion and politics. I notice in many comments in MEN people don’t hear what other people are actually saying because they are filtering comments thru their own preconceived ideological notions. I know I’m as guilty of this as anyone, so I’m not condemning or finger pointing here. Thinking for yourself is hard and likely to make a few “”enemies of former “friends”, but it can also make new friends of former enemies and even make everyone friends with a little open mindedness, forgiving and understanding of what other people are going thru and where they came from.

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  6. Hi Cliff, I sent a response earlier but must not have hit the right button. Sorry about the delay. The origin of this thread was to discuss the basic issue of “Party Politics Invading Edmonds” and my comment was to see if we could come to understand what the left and the right might have as some principles, actions, or ideas so we could all understand what may be behind why candidates get supported by a party. We often point out that this candidate accepted $ from Developers or Real Estate folks, or this other one took money from folks outside Edmonds or the NRA. Generally, we pick and choose our comments to paint a negative picture of a candidate. In this case I was trying to get us to think about the left and right to better understand what would happen if. From talking with you over the years I know you were sincere in your request for comment so here goes.

    Some of your CAPs stuff are more like slogans or counter points that need lots more discussion that we have time for here. My view is that neither the left nor right are correct but each trot out their slogans to gather votes from various groups of people. Both should not play the kind of politics of us vs them or rich vs poor or the other opposing points we hear all too often. Smaller government or bigger government. Most folks would want effective government that defines the problem first, gathers the stakeholders together, design and analysis alternatives and then select a plan and measure if it is working and adjust as needed to improve results.
    Education Funding. Basic Education funding is States job. So, state studies cost of living in various locations, creates pay structures for teachers and then the 295 individual districts choose to do something different. I ask a local SB member and the answer was primary reason the local district did not follow the state standard was the fear of a strike. Public employees are not allowed to strike but we let them. Union power seems to be driving that wagon. Why did our legislature allow that to happen? I do not see the left or the right not wanting to fund education but, how they do it, the checks and balances are not in place to insure a more uniform plan for our 1m kids. I cannot conclude from what happened that either side did that job well.
    Health Care: both sides are wrong and will not budge. Insurance driven markets lead to stupid things like no insurance, go to the emergency room and they have to treat you and write off the cost and put those costs somewhere else to keep the doors open. Medicare for all, who is going to tell the medical unions that we do not get enough money from Medicare to pay your union negotiated pay. I would bet we could put a bunch of citizens in a room, let them sort out all the issues, and they would come up with ideas that would work. Just don’t let anyone take credit or blame and it could be done.
    Taxes: study after study suggest we need a blend of different taxes to create a more predictable revenue stream. Sales, Property, and User Fees are all forms of taxes each with their pros and cons. We should put together an income tax plan that is more progressive and helps with the balance of revenue. How do we do it control the growth of revenue? The Seattle Times did a study a few years ago and it showed for example that if we taxed ALL income at a 10% rate, we could eliminate all property, sales, and excise taxes. Recent court decisions still say we can tax income as property. Doing so would make our tax system “fairer” than the current system. There is a greater concentration of income than property and the tax burden would shift toward the “rich”.
    All the trends in WA still suggest a more central control and more union power. When our governor says on national tv he has a plan to increase the whole idea of unions, it is had to miss the motive and trends.

    Again, sorry for the late response.

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