Friday, August 31, 2018
They say all politics is local, whoever they are. And they are right.
The midterm elections are coming up in about nine weeks. That's about how long a semester in school lasts, so it should give us all the time we need to learn what there is to know about the candidates whose fate we control.
For instance, all of us now have the opportunity to exercise our freedom by choosing our representatives. It takes some discernment to do that, more than ever nowadays, with the phrase "fake news" bandied so carelessly about.
Many public offices are totally secure. My Congressman, for example, is Fred Upton. He has been my House Representative since I could vote. Whether I like him or not, he's not going anywhere, because he is a conservative snuggled tightly in the midst of a conservative marsupial pouch here in Southwest Michigan...
And he's not so bad - I mean, he's wrong about a lot of stuff, sure, but he's still a decent human being. He might be a little out of touch with many of his constituents, but at least he's not out of touch with his mind, like many in the GOP these days.
Being in such an insulated district, Mr. Upton hasn't ever needed to be a political jingoist. That's very different from the close races, which means we're in for one of the nastiest election cycles ever to be witnessed in a modern democracy.
Those who play to the bases of their bases ought not be awarded the trust of the citizenry, for that is a gross misuse of the freedoms we are all afforded in our fortunate Republic.
It is a rarity before our eyes, then: The race for Kalamazoo County Commissioner in District Three (the decidedly Uptown area in which many Hellers live). Here is a very close contest between two people who could not be any different - incumbent Commissioner Tracy Hall and challenger Charley Coss.
They ran against each other two years ago, and Hall won by a sliver. Coss, a local businessman with two degrees from hometown Western Michigan University, is taking Hall on again.
Unlike a lot of this year's Republicans, Charley Coss isn't trying to win on bluster. He didn't last time, either. His issues are pretty civic-minded. He wants to "get the lead out" of our water supply. He sits on the Planning Commission. He has five kids, so he's as invested in Kalamazoo's future as he is in its past.
His opponent (who has a record to run on this time) has worked on coming up with a "County ID Card", which sounds only a tiny bit Orwellian, and really not much else. The Commissioner's post, under Hall's stewardship, seems to have been reduced to a political footstool - a means to climbing higher.
We deserve better than that, no matter our political stripe.
I encourage local residents to vote for Charley Coss this year for Commissioner of Kalamazoo County's Third District. We can trust him with our precious resources because, from his lifetime experience in business, he knows what will happen if they are squandered.
Vote for Charley... Just Coss.