If it's not too much of a headache or an added expense - or, maybe even if it is - the time has come for the City of Crookston to hold a primary election when a whole bunch of candidates are seeking a local elected office. As far as the parameters that would trigger a primary, maybe it should be if four or five candidates file for a single office.
At their annual meeting last December, the City Charter Commission discussed adding a local primary – it would require a change in the charter – but decided not to.
They should reconsider.
A primary would whittle down the number of candidates who advance to the general election, and would eliminate what has transpired over the past couple of City elections: Candidates being elected to important offices with barely 20 percent of the vote. Should you really be placed in a position of power and be gift-wrapped the ability to lead this community down various paths into the future when only around 1 out of 5 voting residents in the community believe you're the person most up to the job?
You have to give all these candidates credit for running for seats on the council and for mayor. After all, it's easy to complain about their behavior and their performance, but at least they're interested enough in their community and its future to actually make an effort to play an official role. But no one should ever be elected to a council or mayoral seat with barely 20 percent of the vote. That's not fair to taxpayers, constituents, residents, voters...everyone.
You watch some of these people continually behave in certain ways and you ask yourself, "Who voted for these people?" The answer in several cases? Not many.
Also, you watch some of these people seated at their council and mayor seats in the chambers, you listen to what they say and how they say it, you observe their demeanor, and you can’t help but wonder, "Why would anyone even want to run for council or mayor in this town? Especially at this particular point in time?" And as you keep watching, you realize that some of these people, if they had a chance to press the rewind button, might jump at that opportunity.
Last week's "last straw," or at least what should have been the 10,000th or so last straw of the Donald Trump presidency, involved a directive from the White House that the U.S. Navy keep their ship docked in Japan, the USS John McCain, out of Trump's line of sight during his visit there. As a result, huge tarps were placed over the side of the ship to cover up the name of the late Republican senator from Arizona, who was also a military veteran and prisoner of war for many years.
McCain was also a frequent Trump critic, and, therefore, the target of a great deal of vitriol from Trump, which is why someone felt it necessary to shield our kindergarten president from seeing McCain's name during his trip to Japan. Even the sailors on the ship were told not to wear their USS John McCain hats.
What will this week's "last straw" be? How about next week’s? It's anyone's guess, but it seems we're getting precariously close to Trump being able to walk out on the street and shoot someone dead without losing a single vote, which is a claim he made during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Trump, of course, said he was unaware of the White House order to the Navy. He seemed to somewhat appreciate the gesture, though, as Trump noted that "somebody did it because they thought I didn't like him, OK? And they were well-meaning, I will say."
It feels worth noting at this point that President Barack Obama was once called out by his critics for wearing a tan suit.
This is a bad man. A bad human being. And he’s president of the United States. Am I obsessed? Yes, absolutely obsessed and proudly so. And I feel compelled to ask, too, why aren't you?