Politics in the year 2016

Thinking or writing about Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is a depressing endeavour indeed. Trump is a bully, abusive to women, bankrupted businesses, and simply put: a despicable human being. Just as no one would accuse Trump of being a gentleman, no one would accuse Clinton of being honest or ethical, as she makes Richard Nixon look like a saint. Our choice is between a creep and a crook. I choose the creep for the following reasons:

1. History teaches us that creeps can make good presidents, as Bill Clinton has demonstrated.

2. Melania will make a great first lady. All one has to do is look at her to know this to be so.

3. Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence, is a dead ringer for Harris Hollow’s own Clyde Pullen. When I speak with Clyde, I feel like I’m talking to our next vice president.

4. Lastly, on a more serious note, Trump is for fewer governmental regulations and Clinton is for more.

In Rappahannock we recently observed the effect of our regulations. Cooter was regulated over the mountain to Page County, taking with him many jobs and valuable tax revenue. I do wonder whether or not the county would have accommodated Cooter had he sold wine and cheese instead of beer and Cheetos, played classical music instead of bluegrass, and had he sold pictures of Hillary Clinton or Chairman Mao instead of Bo, Luke and Daisy Duke. The bottom line is that too much regulation, whether locally or nationally, leads to a loss of jobs. Cheaper wages are not the only reason companies move over the mountain, overseas or to Mexico.

In Rappahannock, politics have taken a turn for the worse. First I want to state in the strongest possible terms that I believe the current lawsuit against the board of supervisors is totally without merit. It is unimaginable to me that the board, acting on the guidance of county attorney Peter Luke, would violate the rules governing the executive session. I suspect politics and not law are behind the lawsuit and will wait like everyone else to see the board vindicated.

By defending the board in the matter of the lawsuit, I do not mean to imply that it is above constructive criticism. I believe that for far too long the board members have shown up at the meetings, acted on advice from a very able county administrator, collected their paychecks and gone home.

They have not looked further ahead than the current meeting. An example of this is the new radio system, a cost of many hundreds of thousands of dollars that was in no way properly budgeted. To be fair, we have a promising new county administrator who will need time to learn the ropes. But I remind the board that it is their job to have the vision that leads to the policies that the county administrator then enforces, and not the other way around.

I do not know if our supervisors remain the lowest paid in the state, but if they are, then I have to say, “we are getting what we paid for.” I do not mean to imply that a pay raise is in order, for it most certainly is not. Yes, the job of supervisor is a difficult one. It is, however, a public service job for those seeking higher calling. It is a job one should not seek if unwilling to do the work it entails.

Michael M. Massie

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