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TWMP Column: The governor should have known better than to tell the truth in an election year


Elections are wonderful things: Citizens going to their local polling place to elect their leaders. What a wonderful thing democracy is.

However, they are as complicated as they are wonderful. Just look at all those consultants up burning the midnight oil tonight trying to figure out how to win a precinct in Harrisonville or boost turnout just a little more in the 28th Ward in St. Louis.

The COVID-19 pandemic is one of the most complicated things in the history of the world. Now, factor in that it has taken place in an election year, and reason and logic be damned.

Last week, Gov. Mike Parson made a clear mistake in the woke/post-facts era of politics. He explained the truth of a complicated situation in an election year.

I’m just a simple hillbilly, but in West Butler County we would say that Parson told folks how the cow ate the cabbage.

When asked about kids going back to school next month, like an adult, he explained, “These kids have got to get back to school. They’re at the lowest risk possible. And if they do get COVID-19, which they will — and they will when they go to school — they’re not going to the hospitals. They’re not going to have to sit in doctors’ offices. They’re going to go home, and they’re going to get over it.”

Shame on the governor for treating Missourians like grown-ups who are mature enough to be told the honest plain truth about challenging situations.

Why didn’t Steele Shippy or David Barklage make sure that he knew this was an election year, and in an election year we demand to be lied to? You know, with slick lines like “if you like your doctor then you can keep your doctor” or “read my lips, no new taxes.”  Up your game, fellas.

What was he thinking, being honest with Missourians like that? We are snowflakes. Who does he think he is telling us that yes, there will be sacrifices and the world isn’t a perfect utopia where the government will tell you what to do and solve all your problems?

Everyone knows that Colonel Jessup was right: We can’t handle the truth, and we elect our politicians on explicit orders never to tell us the truth. Left-wingers and bizarro Republicans who will never fully get out of that basement take delight in tweeting that he was elected lieutenant governor and only took office after the last guy quit on the job.

Maybe if he had run for governor in 2016, Parson would know that we have to only be told the upside in any situation and blatantly lied to about anything that would cause us stress or anxiety. We want to be sold that pig in poke, we need to be sold that pig in a poke.

Let’s take a quick look at what he said. Yes, of course, these kids have to get back to school. Internet school isn’t anywhere close to the same as the classroom experience in a Missouri public school. I know there is a crew of dorks and losers from high school that enjoy complaining about their public school experience, but Neelyville High did just fine by this hillbilly.

All the amateur epidemiologists endlessly demand elected officials look at the data. Well, when the governor says children are at the lowest risk possible, that is him listening to those experts, isn’t it? Or is it only listen to data that leads policymakers to issue orders for everyone to wear masks and stay in their basements until next spring?

Here is the tough part. He stated the obvious that yes, some children will contract coronavirus in school.

Well, if social distancing isn’t a complete hoax, then yes, of course, when kids come together in a classroom, some will get exposed to the virus, and yes, unfortunately, some will get sick.

This is just simply the truth. Until there is a vaccine, this is going to be true whenever you start school. I know it’s not what anyone wants to hear, but even if you can’t handle the truth, you need to hear it.

I don’t know how they did it in bigger cities schools like Doniphan or Troy, but at Neelyville High School, when you were sick you went home and didn’t come back until you were over it. Again, I know the truth isn’t always sunshine and rainbows, but that is what happens in the real world.

I didn’t want to hear that the State Fair was being canceled. The truth is that the sponsors were not going to be there to make it feasible. I don’t like it. I’d like someone to blame. It’s just a grown-up fact, and I’m glad someone just put it to me straight.

I’ve seen his Democratic opponent, Nicole Galloway, hitting the governor over his grave error of honesty. I understand that it’s an election year, and this is what you do. Being an incumbent governor is a tremendous advantage, and one of the few advantages to being a challenger is that you can lob bombs at the incumbent without the burden of having to make your own ideas work under the constraints of government.

However, in the next couple of weeks, I think it’s fair to ask what she would do in this situation. Galloway is a very intelligent and capable politician. I think a lot of people will be eager to see her ideas on how to handle the opening of schools.

It will not only inform folks as to what type of governor she would be, but it could give the current administration some ideas on how to handle the situation.

Speaking of, I haven’t seen anyone else really offer a plan on how they would handle the reopening of schools. I’d imagine when Democratic legislative leaders return to the Capitol for special session next week, they should be prepared to offer some alternatives if they aren’t on board with the governor’s plan.

Not everyone lives in Chesterfield with a staff of nannies to keep the kids. In my home, both of my parents worked. Now I could stay at my grandma’s some, but often when school wasn’t in session, I went to daycare — which consisted of a big group of kids from the surrounding area doing activities together in a room all day.

Kind of like school.

In the real world, the kids will have to go somewhere while their parents work; school seems to be the best alternative currently on the table.

In the meantime, we can only hope Parson has learned his lesson; we can all keep our doctors, and we will have no new taxes.

On another note, the agriculture community, rural Missourah, and really all of the Midwest owes a debt of gratitude to Missouri Farm Bureau President Blake Hurst who is leaving the position at the end of the year.

One of the overarching themes from the Republican primaries this cycle was that getting up early on TV and mail to ruthlessly attack your opponent has been the most effective strategy thus far. If the leads this strategy has built hold then look for that being the new norm in ’22.

In a move wrought with political pandering, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner just shot a thumb to the eye of Parson and Attorney General Eric Schmitt by filing charges on everyone’s favorite rich goofballs with a machine gun in St. Louis, the McCloskeys.

Not to be out-pandered in this ridiculous situation, Parson made it clear that he would pardon Missouri’s worst neighbors. In this case, Parson, Schmitt, and Gardner all get what they want: a more fired up base for their primaries they are all likely to win in two weeks.

Let’s be real: The McCloskeys may lack a lick of common sense, what they did was dumb, but they shouldn’t have been charged with a crime. Luckily for me, in Missouri being dumb isn’t illegal.

However, if Parson is legally able to pardon them before a trial, then he could set a precedent that could do a lot of good for our state. As long as he is willing to look at cases that involve those who aren’t pastel-clad millionaires guarding their St. Louis mansions with machine guns, then he could help out a lot of poor folks who don’t have high-priced lawyers and Fox News on their side who did things that were dumb but not necessarily illegal. Here’s hoping he does.

Sunday on “This Week in Missouri Politics” our featured guest will be state Sen. Karla May who will be the key senator in next week’s special session. Also, former Sen. Jim Lembke and David Barklage will break down next month’s Republican Senate primaries.