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This Week in Missouri Politics Column: What is the value of a government mandate compared to the value of the governor’s word?

  

The world moves very fast these days. St. Patrick’s Day seems like a decade ago, and the governor’s election where $10s of millions were spent seems like years ago, although it was only two weeks ago.

That’s 14 days, a little over 330 hours, just over 20,000 minutes. I don’t wanna take my boots off to do the figures, but somewhere just north of a million seconds ago the entire state voted, and boy, was the turnout great on who should be Missouri’s governor.

I probably said it on TV four or five dozen times: The state had two very qualified and capable choices in Governor Parson and Auditor Galloway. Both very well funded so they could make their case to the state.

They debated all kinds of issues very articulately. They agreed on a few things, like they both love cops so much that Jeff Roorda’s birthday should be a state holiday; they both want higher paying jobs, and they are both excited for a COVID vaccine.

However, they disagreed on a few things such as guns, abortion, and how the state should handle COVID.

About 330 hours ago, Governor Parson looked the people of Missouri in the eye and promised folks he would continue his policy of local control. If you want a local mandate or mask order or “can’t leave your house” order, then go talk to your county commissioners and try and get you one. He did a very good job making the case for his policy and asking the voters to trust him to continue it.

Just over 1 million seconds ago, Auditor Galloway looked Missouri voters in the eye and said Governor Parson had failed, and she would issue all kinds of orders and mandates that everyone from Delmar to Doniphan would have to endure.

Well, just over 20,000 minutes ago the state decided. When they counted the votes, something that Jay Ashcroft seems to be able to do a hell of a lot faster than a lot of other states, Missourians sided with Governor Parson’s way.

And not by a little. Just over 14 days ago, they endorsed his time in office with a landslide. Goodness, I did a lil Googlin’ and come to find out, it’s been over 30 years since a Republican won by such a massive landslide as Governor Parson did just 14 days ago — carrying his party to a sweep of statewide offices and bringing back all but one of this legislative supermajority.

Now some of our friends in the city are wanting the governor to go back on his word he gave just 20,000 minutes ago.

They want him to say “fingers crossed” just a million seconds after giving his word.

They want him to say “I was just bullshittin’ ya bout that local control” just 20,000 minutes after promising folks he would stay the course.

They actually think he would just go Governor Nixon on ObamaCare and say “well, I saw a new study” just 330 hours after he promised them he would keep their state open where local officials deemed it safe. Heck, Governor Nixon even waited until Thanksgiving.

Now, I’m not one to deny COVID or whether masks are good. I really don’t know. I will say that I really do believe that the folks wanting government orders mean well and want the best for their fellow Missourians, and I think they probably do work to some extent.

Now, I’ve been to more counties in this state, eaten more cheeseburgers at different diners, met more commissioners, had more Bud Lights in more bars, and visited with more county Farm Bureau presidents than anyone else’s column you’re gonna read today — and I can tell you this is a very diverse state.

When the government issues orders and mandates, our friends in the cities tend to like ‘em and follow ‘em pretty happily. And I say good for them.

However, folks in rural Missourah generally don’t take too kindly to orders. Now if you ask us, we will give you the shirt off our backs. However, if you start ordering us around, you get to see the steel in our spine.

Look at St. Francois County. They did a mask order and actually found fewer people wore them. Illinois is as liberal as you can be, hell it’s damn near Venezuela, and all of their orders and shutdowns have them in pretty much the same spot as Missouri.

I’ve seen some of our friends in the city say that their hospitals are full because of all of us hicks crowding them. Well, that may or may not be the case, but let’s be honest. This hospital system this state has is what these big hospital chains have made it.

It wasn’t anybody in Poplar Bluff’s idea to have our hospital just be a stop over and send you onto Cape or St. Louis. The city folks are all too happy to have rural folks funneled for the city for procedures that make them money.

I also think folks in rural Missouri would be all too happy to see some of those big hospital chains keep the promises they made during the Medicaid Expansion campaign and rebuild our rural health care system.

Until then, maybe try giving the governor a couple million seconds before asking him go all, “If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor,” or “read my lips” on the people of Missourah.

After all, this is the Show-Me State, and the people showed that they are pretty big fans of his style of governing.

Before I leave ya, I just wanna take a second and compliment St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson. She is a public servant, and whatever you think of her decisions in office, handled herself with grace, dignity, and class. Another credit to Truman State and someone who has a career she and her alma matter can be very very proud of. I truly wish the best for her and her really cool husband, Mike Owens.

If I had to guess this means that at least one South Citian will now enter the fray for mayor to take up her mantle. Personally I’d like to see Kenny Mitchell run. Seriously, how fun would covering Kenny on the stump be?

Back to COVID for a second. How ridiculous to the urban outlets look finger wagging about the Senate Republican Caucus? Senator Hegeman is an example of not only a wonderful man who is truly kind and professional to everyone, but someone who wore his mask as religiously as anyone I know rural or urban. Our family will be thinking of him at Thanksgiving.

With Biden in the White House, things lookup for Missouri Republicans in 2022 and 2024. I personally hope that Josh Hawley takes a run at the White House. That would be a good thing for the state. It would also be good for the state to see Senator Blunt return to the Senate. No one produces more for the people of the state than the man from Niangua.

Biden being in that White House makes the Republian nomination for state auditor even more valuable. Early on, look for Rep. David Gregory to make a big early showing. He is as talented as anyone on the Republican bench.

We are off for a couple weeks at “This Week in Missouri Politics.” Take a minute and catch last week’s show from Perryville with the governor. Also take a minute and learn about the history of the state with Show-Me Missourah from Knox County with Presiding Commissioner Evan Glasgow, the man with hands down the best mustache in the state. Sorry, Senator Moon.