To the local Republican candidates for Dubois County Council-At-Large who prevailed in the November 3rd election, please accept my “congratulations” on behalf of the DuCoDem Party and our candidates who opposed your re-election.
Our candidates and our party will strive to work with you and reach a consensus on what is in the interest of all the people of our county. When we can’t reach a consensus on what is in the best interests of the people we will be the loyal opposition.
The election showed where there are areas of disagreement between our parties and the people we represent, and in turn between those in office and the people. These include the Mid-States Corridor (“MSC”), the proposed new jail, rehabilitation and health care for inmates and defendants, taxes and spending, and housing and jobs.
Some of the disagreements arise on both sides of the line between our political parties and our members. Thus the divisions may not be self-evident in or reflected by the votes for or against individual candidates, for example the Mid-States Corridor or Rehabilitation.
Another disagreement arises out of a lack of successful communication between office holders and the people. This is in contrast with effective communication between government officeholders, ‘stakeholders,’ and contractors.
A good example is the MSC. Government is focused on “how much.” Stakeholders are focused on “where.” And contractors are focused on “when.” The people, on the other hand, are still looking for an answer to “Who needs it?” “Why is it needed?” The government needs to take the lead and make sure the public questions like “Why?” are answered to the satisfaction of the majority of the people before moving forward. The people are not unreasonable or selfish when the public benefit is known.
The power of government and designees to “take property” from those who own the property is a most awesome state power. It rivals execution and incarceration. No one supports taking a human life or locking up a free person unless they are “guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.”
The state is only allowed to “take” your real property—land, buildings, crops, trees, home—upon a “showing of great public need,” after legal “due process,” and upon payment of “just compensation.”
Congratulation from loser to winner reflects acceptance of choice of candidate by the people. Congratulation reflects the willingness of the loser to work with the winner to seek dialogue, consensus, and unity in the path forward. Conversely, victory in a democracy is not a crowning. Victory in an election is a chance to do better for the people. Victory is a chance to make a path for all people instead of a few. Winners and losers need each other for the sake of democratic governance.
So, last time, same as the first time, Congratulations. The question is “Quo Vadis?” “What is the path?” Let’s both work together with an informed and educated public to make sure we build a path ‘of, for, and by the People.’
Mike Kendall, DuCoDem Chairman