Tuesday, February 2, 2016

To Team or Not to Team

I've said it before. Something happened to me during the last election. I cared too much, I believed too much, and I let the results crush me. I haven't felt the same about politics since. I watched the frenzy about The Iowa caucuses last night with no particular enthusiam.

I see good things about both Clinton and Sanders but I just don't want to work myself into a state over it. This doesn't mean I don't have strong convictions. I absolutely know what I support and don't support, and, in my case, I will definitely vote for the Democratic nominee in November. But right now I just don't have my heart in it.

And another thing. I don't want to be one of those hocolocals who write nasty things about Republicans just because they are Republicans. I remember what that looked like when Ken Ulman was County Executive and not a single post on his Facebook page was ever free from partisan insults and sneers. It was ugly then and it is still ugly. As I said earlier this year, I evaluate public officials on job performance, not whether or not I "like" them.

So that also means I won't automatically "like" all things Democrat, you know, "just because." I don't deny that I am a lifelong Democrat, and I don't claim to be purely impartial. But I'm not excited about "doing it for the team." That's just not speaking to me right now. If there's an issue that means a lot to me, or an individual who has forged a good working relationship with me, that's when I'll be willing to extend myself. Issues and relationships matter.

That leads me to the people I've had the best ongoing working relationship with around community issues, the Mold in Howard County Schools - Information for Parents group, most notably Vicky Comer Cutroneo. Never in a million years did I think I would have anything in common with people from Western Howard County. How wrong I was.

Vicky and the parents who work with her have proven time and again their intelligence, diligence, thoroughness, empathy, and determination. While our lives are very different, and, I suspect, our political parties different, what we share is what matters: a deep belief in the highest quality of education for our kids and the best, safest, healthiest environment for children, teachers, and staff.

And that's something I can get excited about.



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