Letter: Leaders should focus on governance, not politics


I voted for Clyde Shavers. I’m glad he will represent my values in Olympia, but I’m not glad that only 250 votes made the difference. Half our voters are celebrating. The other half are plotting electoral revenge.

Our winner-take-all system increases animosity and anxiety. Politicians play on these fears to win. Not just here. Our nation is split down the middle and red-blue politics is driving us all so crazy we waste billions to keep “the other side” from winning.

We-the-people have bigger problems than this politics as blood sport spectacle. Governing – what politicians do the rest of the time – is problem solving for the people. And we have big problems to solve.

Climate denial is fading, but climate consequences are here. How do we reduce risk and assure safety in our three counties with miles of shorelines and rising seas. How do we defend productive farming and ranching with potentially less irrigation water and more floods? We now know that our forests and wetlands moderate climate threats; environment versus development is a tired argument. Public safety means both well-trained and resourced officers, and adequate mental health resources. And talk about tired debates – our workforce needs housing, and new development isn’t the only answer. Langley Post Office is down to one public servant. Our restaurants and businesses are short-staffed. No more blah blah blah.

I want leaders who waste no time on political food-fights. No more “owning the libs” or “hating on the right.” I want lawmakers who don’t squabble over who is at fault but are effective in getting ahead of housing, public safety, mental health, and climate threats, and tone down debilitating polarization.

For our part, citizens have many tools of influence. Protest, serving in advisory boards, lobbying, attending hearings, and solving problems ourselves with “the other side.” It’s not easy. Sovereignty or safety, profits or fairness – brilliant leaders change each “or” to “and.”

Politics separates, but governing should unite us. Go for it, Clyde!

Vicki Robin