PEOPLE: More than parties
My Dad, Lloyd, was a school board member with Paul. Dad was a cattleman Republican. Paul was a farmers’ union Democrat. Dan and Mom, Paul and Barbara and six other couples played bridge eight times a year. They all respected and loved each other like brothers and sisters. The kids played on the same teams and in the same bands. We had 4-H trips togethers. We learned, laughed and danced together.
After about the 6th grade, we began to sense our teachers’ political leanings, but we largely acquired our parents’ notions about elections. Nobody in our small town ever “squawked” about a school board member’s politics. Dad and Paul were on the board for years, through construction of the new school and the hiring of some of the most influential people of our lives.
There was a baby-boom growth; the levies passed 85% to 15%. It was an unappreciated reality at the time, but it was a rich lesson in civility, in plurality, in community.
This story is a big factor in my wholehearted endorsement of Kiki Miller for City Council and Bob Jones for Lakeland School Board. I know them well: smart, experienced, honest, independent, imaginative, both caring more about their public institutions than a political label.
I’m a constitutional originalist, a local-and-small government conservative, an Army veteran and a 44-year CDA resident. I love my city and every good citizen here. None of us are adequately defined by a political party affiliation.
DON J SCHMITT, M.D.