Editor's Column

"People who want to put Washington on the map are ruining us. First, there was WTO, which attracted a bunch of crazed anarchists to Seattle. Now, things have deteriorated to the point where we've got presidential candidates running amok, begging for our votes in next Tuesday's presidential preference primary, which is the brainchild of our leaders who want everyone to notice us up here in our little corner of the country.Believe me, life was far, far better before anyone noticed we were here. The freeways were open, mountain trails unclogged, our little towns were untouched by developers, and for excitement we had Husky football, hydroplane races, crew competition, aqua follies and Rainier baseball, the total income of which didn't match the annual pay of the lowliest scrub on today's Sonics team. Life was fine until the Century 21 World's Fair of 1962 attracted Elvis Presley to town. That was the beginning of our decline, eventually resulting in Jack Patera, anarchists and presidential candidates.The next week in Washington may be the most tragic in our history. Presidential candidates trailed by TV cameras will be pumping hands and smiling, while their entourages snap up vacation property on Whidbey Island and second homes in Seattle. They'll slurp Starbucks and clutter our ski slopes, then go home and tell their million friends how wonderful it is here. Nothing this appalling has occurred since the first Whidbey Island Indian laid eyes on Captain George Vancouver's Discovery and coined the term, There goes the neighborhood.Knowing the candidates were coming, I spent last week watching them on CNN and FOX as they laid waste to South Carolina, which itself was a fairly tranquil state before they arrived. Sure, they were arguing over a flag, but by the time the candidates left they were fighting over religion, abortion, veterans benefits, health care, Social Security, and a host of other problems raised by the candidates, all of whom left the state before the final primary vote was tallied. That was fortunate, because Civil War was about to break out.A week of news-channel watching did not, however, give me a clear understanding of the candidates' positions on the issues. The only one who speaks clearly also unfortunately thinks he speaks for God. Another one thinks being shot down over enemy territory is a qualification for being president, while another thinks being the son of an ex-president is sufficient reason to elect him. All we really learned is that if you liken a Republican to Bill Clinton, them's fightin' words, possibly because the nation is at peace and the budget is in balance. Don't vote in next Tuesday's presidential primary. It'll only encourage them to come back in four years. Personally, I'd rather host the anarchists for a week."

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