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Civility in Olympia

Updated: Jan 22, 2020

In the past few years politics have devolved into name-calling vitriol that I don’t recognize, and it has only gotten worse in our state under this one-party system.

I will bring a civil and compassionate voice to the Senate. We need to be able to speak to one another and find common ground to find solutions.

I have made a career of engaging in dialogue. It probably is somewhat genetic however it really began in high school debate.

Trudy Sundberg was my debate and literature teacher in high school. We disagreed on many subjects but discussed many controversial ones. She encouraged passion but insisted on level and educated debate. She instilled a healthy cynicism in me. In other words, don’t believe everything you read, see or experience. Corroborate your facts and don’t be afraid to admit ignorance and change your opinion based on facts. Don’t take disagreement on issues as a personal affront.

Our opinions are based on education and life experience. Sometimes things are not as they appear. We are emotional beings and our reactions are not always rational. I’m guilty of this as well. It is a natural self-preservation tactic to react emotionally which can result in increasing adrenaline which allows in some cases superhuman strength.

However, discussion and debate are not the place for this. Empathy is also a necessary component. Understanding what life experience has molded other’s opinions sometimes allows a person to understand their point of view. Don’t marginalize others for their opinions. This only results in greater divides and loss of discussion.

Lastly don’t draw lines in the sand. Don’t believe there are limits to what you would or can do. History is full of exploits where people have done the unexpected. I myself would have never imagined I would be a State Senator. Let’s engage in dialogue as adults should. Remember, sticks and stones might break my bones, but words will never hurt me.

-The Happy Farmer

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