Here in the great state of Washington, our choices for governor are Jay Inslee, seeking an unusual, though not unprecedented, third term, and Loren Culp, the Police Chief of Republic, a small town in the northeast corner of the state.
Those are our choices, a man with a lifetime of government service–and yes, I know how some of you feel about that–and a man with next to none.
Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Depends.
But it does say alot about the state of the Republican party in this state that no one with any real experience in state government, with one minor exception (who wasn’t too keenly thought of by the state party bosses-they preferred a doctor with as much experience as Culp) even bothered to run. Mostly that’s because, by and large, the president is loathed in this state and no desirous GOPer with grand designs for his or her future wants to be dragged down with him.
Now, I’m not necessarily against either except for the following: a functioning government matters more than ever. How big it is, how much it spends, and taxes, as well as how effective it is, is incredibly important. The virus has made that disturbingly clear.
Culp is, unfortunately, another in a line of those running to poke the westside of the state in the eye rather than on any true platform of governance. Those Republicans have become a endangered species, which is a shame because the westside needs what I would consider a competing conservative voice that’s not scare tactics and self-serving incompetence. All that leads to is a liberal bent that has no counterweight to its more foolish beliefs.
Culp may believe that government should just step aside or merely advise, but history disabuses us of that quickly; those with power will fill that void with their own aims whether the “people” agree or not. That hold for liberals who believe government is the answer to every problem. It obviously isn’t. It’s meant to set the rules and adjudicate a fair balance, not pick sides.
And while Inslee had acted in what I consider a reasonable manner as Governor, I think it’s a good idea to only hold positions of authority for so long, like 8 years even if it isn’t limited by law. It’s too easy to get too comfortable, and it keeps new blood out of the system, which I think we need.
Culp didn’t bother to note any government experience, even though he’s the chief of police in Republic, though he’s the only law enforcement officer. Still, his claim to fame, is his unwillingness to enforce a law passed by the state concerning when you can buy a military-style semi-automatic weapon. And this isn’t some small thing when law enforcement suddenly decides which laws it will enforce. It made him a star on Fox and with conservative media. but it risks making him the next Sarah Palin, and while she had her moment, I don’t know that in the long run it was to her benefit.
The irony is that he wants the very people who voted for the law he rejects to vote for him because there’s no way in hell he’ll be voted in without a majority of those of us here on the westside of the cascades. That just Washington politics.
©2020 David William Pearce