Last week we all celebrated Independence Day with family and friends. One of the highlights for me was being part of the Sagebrush Days Parade and having my granddaughter Audrey join me. She really had a great time, although she was not too excited about sitting on the scratchy hay and straw bales, so we rode in the back of the pick-up. She kept waving that Grand Old Flag and smiling. She was a bit jealous of Uncle “Mark Goodman” Sam giving away candy to the kids. The jealousy ended when she “allegedly” tossed a few candies to the kids from the pick-up. I had told her we could not do that, but she “allegedly” saw an unnamed Senator from District 24 toss a few candies. This case history made her argument. I think she is destined for the debate team.

Losing this argument reminded me of one of the frustrations with political debate. I have been cursed with an analytical personality. Thus, I want to hear all the facts and opinions on various issues. I have observed over the past 20 years of public service that arguments are often challenging because of the rationalizations used to take a position. It reminds me of an old story. It may have been in a “Blondie” comic strip, so I will pretend it was one of her strips.

Visualize Dagwood at the neighbors and Herb comes to the door. Dagwood asks if he can borrow Herb’s chainsaw. Herb tells him no. Dagwood is a bit surprised as he is always loaning tools to Herb. So Dagwood asked, “Why not?” Herb kindly responds, “Because my Mother-in-Law is traveling in Europe.” Dagwood is flabbergasted. He asked Herb, what has that got to do with loaning me the chainsaw? Herb responds, “Dagwood, when you do not want to do something, one excuse is as good as another!” End of debate.

Originally published in the Southern Idaho Republican Women newsletter, July 2013.