Amidst a time of seemingly infinite disagreements in Washington, Austin and at City Hall, on Thursday night, two candidates showed people how it is done.
Prior to the start of the Amarillo Pioneer Candidate Forum at the American Legion, I witnessed John Smithee and Mike Purcell speaking. What is so interesting is both men, Smithee, a Republican, and Purcell, a Democrat, are running against each other for a seat in the State Legislature. However, that did not stop them from having a polite and civil conversation.
No hatred. No grandstanding. No yelling. Just a conversation.
I found this to be a striking contrast to the demeanor of politicians everywhere. In Washington, Republicans and Democrats yell insults and bicker about petty issues. In Austin, the same thing happens. At City Hall, those who disagree with the politicians are shouted down, verbally attacked, and are often insulted by those running the show.
But, yet, in the middle of all of this, here are two electoral rivals speaking friendly. Both of these men would like to be the victor on election night, and one of them will, as they are the only candidates on the ballot. However, they showed that just because they might have a different philosophy on some issues, every side can still get along.
Frankly, politics needs more individuals who are like this; people who are willing to put aside their differences and treat each other with respect.
So, to Mr. Smithee and Mr. Purcell, I applaud both of you. While I hope to hear more debate between the two candidates over the issues affecting taxpayers and voters, I hope neither of these candidates lose the degree of civility they showed on Thursday night.
-Thomas Warren III, Editor-in-Chief