What a week! Both nationally and locally, it was quite a week!
Anonymous editorials in the New York Times and a new book from Bob Woodward of Watergate fame. And speaking of Watergate, John Dean testified before the Senate on the corruption then and now.
Reports are coming in that the President is unhinged, isolated, suspicious and paranoid. Of course, most of us thought that already but now Republicans are finally saying it. (Well, some are). There is even open talk about invoking the 25th Amendment and removing Trump from office.
What a week!
Former President Obama is back on the campaign trail and taking direct aim at President Trump. Michelle Obama is launching her own tour to get out the vote. I wouldn’t even be surprised to see should have been President Al Gore come out to speak.
Democrats look poised to take the house with 10-15 seats to spare and now pundits are saying the Senate, while difficult, might be in reach. It is up to each of us to get voters to the polls and to vote. Coachella Valley Dems are active. I was at the Mary Pickford Theater this week and voter registration tables were up and active. It was good to see.
Locally, I must address the growing viciousness on social media. Facebook is especially bad, but Twitter, Next Door and others are moving that way, too. Politics has always been a contact sport but one you could forget about after the election and go have a beer with a competitor. Not anymore.
Being an elected official for 24 years now, I am used to people questioning my positions on any number of topics and giving their opinion. That is valid, and I enjoy that give and take. Now however it has become very personal. Even dredging up old news that The Desert Sun covered intensely. I am speaking of my personal bankruptcy nine years ago during the height of the Great Recession or accusing me of personal gain off city work, and on and on.
What a week!
They fail to mention the $100 million that I have brought into the Coachella Valley for transportation projects, the work I have done to raise money to allow our high school students could travel and see various parts of the world. They skip over the leadership for LGBTQ rights in the County and Valley, or immigrant rights or women’s rights.
Do you know why they skip over these things? It’s because 95 percent of the people who are on the attack have 1) never met me, 2) never called me to ask me anything, 3) never emailed or written me to ask or 3) never even came to a City Council meeting. They blindly take the word of one or two angry people who are miserable in their own personal lives that they must make it unpleasant for anyone else. Seems like a story line from Washington, but it is happening here.
Sadly, it has now gotten to the point where these same people are attacking City Council candidates simply because I have endorsed them. Again, they have never met these candidates, never asked them anything, and amazing enough do not live in the district in which the candidate is running.
What is next?
We must bring back civility to our community and valley. We are a small town where we eat at the same restaurants and shop at the same grocery store. We all have families we want to support and see be successful. We should also strive to be an example to others of positive community activism and not divisions.
It doesn’t matter whether or now we agree on specific issues. It doesn’t matter if we don’t like specific language someone uses (you can always block them on Facebook). What does matter is that we communicate honestly, professionally and always with the desire to raise our city and her residents up and not tear them down.
Don’t wait until Nov. 6. Start now. Think positive and start talking positively. You will have been surprised how what you do and say will change your attitude.