As Diogenes wandered the world in search of the one honest man, so do we all search for the one political figure will put principal ahead of personal ambitions. Lamentably, Oregon, like much of our nation today, has become highly polarized at both ends of the political spectrum. The center of the political spectrum which, seeks compromise, is diminishing in size and influence.
At present, our state is dominated by a highly idealistic urban tribe that has little concept, understanding or even interest in the vast expanse of what is rural Oregon or the travails of its people. Politicians, so eager to curry favor with tribal leaders to achieve and retain power are quick to “go along to get along." The plight of those non-members of the urban tribe seem of little concern. Yet it is to a great extent their work and the consumption of their production that serves to maintain the prosperity of the urbanites. That is short sighted and will ultimately lead to revolution in some form, hopefully at the ballot box.
One person — I am aware of few others — recently has taken a stand, putting her personal ambitions aside to vigorously represent her constituency. I speak, of course, of Melissa Cribbins who, in protest of the decision taken the LCDC, the state agency on whose board of directors she served, to deny a project that would have brought prosperity to her impoverished constituency benefiting our schools, public safety institutions and provided a basis for economic growth.
This was a decision taken by a board of directors acceding to political pressure from the highest level of state government pandering to the urban tribe. Melissa made clear she felt the board’s decision ignored the science, the will of the local people most affected by their decision and what was best for all of Oregon, not just the urban tribe.
Melissa’s decision to resign a coveted position, appointed by the governor of our state, demonstrated a sense of conviction and commitment to the people whose interests she was responsible to represent, perhaps to her own political detriment, is an all too rare example of what our political leaders are supposed to do. Whether you agree with her position or not, you must admire her courage and selflessness. Remember this at voting time.