Monday, June 02, 2008

WA 42nd LD - Mark Flanders Tells Why He's Running

Mark Flanders is running for WA State Representative for the 42nd Legislative District.

Over the years, I've read plenty of campaign literature and I'm not impressed by the typical "Mom & Apple pie" rhetoric. You know the sort of stuff I'm talking about; candidates who are in favor of everything good, in a really vague catch-phrase way.

I started looking over Mark's campaign website and when I read his blog entry on why he's running, I was genuinely impressed. His honesty, openness and genuine concern for the community is a breath of fresh air and in stark contrast to his opponents smug platitudes & purely partisan attitudes.

I've posted Mark's entire blog entry so you read it for yourself.

Mark Flanders Blog
Why are you running?
Wed, May 28, 2008 - 08:11 PM
Posted by mf. in Election 2008

Why are you running?” Coslo asked.

It seemed such a simple question, but I paused.

“It can’t be just because somebody needs to run against Eriksen.” said Francis.

“Because I care deeply about this community.” suggested Tom, sarcastically.

We all laughed, but then they turned to me and waited for me to answer.

These friends of mine who only two weeks ago made a joke of anything and everything political, not because they didn’t care, but because they had cared for so long that their frustration was all that they had left. Now that I had tossed my hat into the ring, they were all business. They were not kidding, and I’d better not be full of it.

I told them I was still working on it.

Certainly, I have thoughtful, progressive positions on issues and can make a strong case that I am a skilled problem solver, a person of integrity and even a gifted communicator. But none of these really answered the initial question.

Hours later, after some time on my own to reflect, I have an answer.

I am running because I love Whatcom County, not as someone who has always lived here, but as someone who went away and came back. I commuted in traffic jams for years. I have seen crime in the streets. I have seen dire poverty in Africa, and how good people counted on each other to survive. I lived in the center of a great city, and learned not only how bad it was, but how beautiful it could be, with a genuine and grounded sense of community. I saw how people in Europe belonged to their homelands, but were limited in who they could become, and how, in America we have we have an incredible freedom of possibilities, but often don’t know where we belong. I learned to respect those who I used to criticize for their conservatism, because I recognized the value and wisdom in some of their choices, even as I try to explain the values and insight of my own. I love Whatcom County for the wild independent people in the foothills, the retired hippies, the third generation busted up loggers, the berry farmers and the dairy farmers and the Ukrainians and Hispanics and even the transplanted Californians. I was back here visiting my mother a decade ago, in a rented Mustang convertible. On a brilliant sunny day, out on a lonely
stretch of road in the eastern county, I stopped the car and just sat there.
That was the day I decided to come home, and to bring my wife with me.

On a somewhat less philosophical note, I have another reason I’m running.

It is my sense of the times that we are heading into a time of transition, and that there will be difficult challenges in the next decade. The country is in two wars,
that remain oddly distant from most of our daily lives. Gas prices are skyrocketing, and it doesn’t look temporary this time. People are going to have to make some decisions about it. Food prices are rising. Wages are stagnant, and the global economy is everywhere, and yet seems somehow tenuous, as the economy teeters along. Americans are migrating in search of better situations. Our culture and ethnicity is more diverse each year, and we all need to learn and be considerate of each other. Devastating natural disasters are becoming more commonplace. The list goes on. I’m not a doomsday type. I believe in the future, but I think we’re in for some tough times, and call me crazy, but I think I have the perspective to help us through, and to see opportunities to create a future that embraces the best of our past, with the progressive possibilities of the future.

You may ask, how does all of this have anything to do with little old Whatcom County, or even Washington State? My question to you is , in what way do these things not relate to Whatcom County and Washington State? Once upon a time, we could pretend that we were not apart of the rest of the world, but those days are gone. We should see this as an opportunity and put our minds and hands to the task.



Bellinghammer said...

So he didn't think about why he was running until AFTER he began his campaign and was asked by some friends? Hmmm.

Ozy said...

I think it's more than one why. The obvious one is Ericksen has been terrible!
“All talk and no walk Ericksen” is what I like to refer to him as. He has done little to nothing positive during his time in the legislature. We don’t need under performing legislators like Doug Eriksen.
We all know it and even many Republicans. It was getting late to get in and the need to beat Ericksen is reality. The message is always evolving. New information comes in and must be considered.
Mark is new and I believe is interested in statesmanship vs. being a politician.
That’s good for the legislature and our community.

We have a sharp guy like Mark who has stepped up to the plate and I hope we have the strength of our conviction to support him.


Marlon Flando said...

Hiya Bloggers,

Hah! Ok fine. Fair enough.
Of course I thought about why I was running in advance, but couldn't we all use a closer look at our thoughts and ideas? Who of us couldn't reveiw his or her collection of ideas and beliefs and find a few in need of reflection. My friends challenged me to dig a little deeper. Sometimes that's what friends are for.
all the best,