Do politics in this polarized era, even in Langley, always have to devolve into fear-mongering or name-calling? It seems reactivity has replaced civility, escalation has trumped (so to speak) reason.
Should Monica Guzman have selected snippets of Beusch’s public utterances to make her point that his policies seem aligned with Trump’s agenda? Maybe not. Did she have every right to make her points however she wanted to? Absolutely. Was her letter unethical because she serves on a volunteer board for the city? No. Letter writers, unless they identify one of their many business and community affiliations, are assumed to be citizens in a free society. Silencing others because of their affiliations or roles is undemocratic. Our little ethics board isn’t the Supreme Court!
Should Beusch have filed an ethics complaint rather than use normal channels in an election year — letters to editors or Facebook — to defend his reputation? Bad choice in my opinion. Reporting Monica to the ethics board escalated the situation, impugned Monica and rattled the public. Was Beusch’s letter the the mayor inflammatory: Yes. To dismiss women as “emotional” (his quotes) and then send them off to solve the problem themselves is insulting, to put it mildly. To conflate immigrants (documented or not) as lawbreakers partakes of Trump’s first parlays when he entered the race, calling Mexicans rapists. Such prejudice against neighbors who are not white men must stop. It should have stopped decades ago.
Beusch’s cultural insensitivity is literally painful to hear. Should he apologize for his characterizations of women and immigrants? That’s between him and his conscience.