So many thoughts have been running through my head since I began getting responses to my call to Rim Country Forum Monday, Feb. 18. Have many of us lost the ability to be objective? Isn't truth important any more, or at least more important than image? How can people read so much into things, put their own spin on it, and refuse to listen with an open mind? And so on.
It all started when I read the article by Charlene Hunt in the Friday, Feb. 15 Payson Roundup titled "White, Murphy battle over 'lie.' As I read, it seemed more and more incredible that someone of the supposed stature of Jim White could make the comments he was making. After claiming he was taking the high road and not going to comment, he proceeded to call Ken Murphy and Ron Christensen names and deny ever doing something that I, for one, know he had done at another time (that is, saying he would remove some town staff if he were elected mayor).
When I called my husband's talk show on KMOG, my sole intent was to demonstrate that when Jim White denied, both in the paper and on the radio, ever saying he wanted some town staff removed, the truth was that he had said those things to me last summer.
It was upsetting to hear a man who I had once respected deny the truth, essentially call me a liar too, and turn into a bully with his veiled but intimidating threats by mentioning his lawyers and lie-detector tests. It is not an issue worthy of that much trouble, but it is one where Jim White would stand much taller if he explained or defended his comments rather than denying them.
I want the people who represent me and work for the best interests of my town to be honest above all else. Our word means something, and character counts, in spite of what we have seen in this world so often in recent years.
I think if politicians have learned nothing else from history, they should have learned that when they make a mistake or misspeak, the wisest thing to do is to acknowledge it, hopefully learn from it, mend it if possible, and move on as a more noble person. The public is quick to forgive a mistake when honesty reigns afterward, and fewer good people are hurt in the process.
Some in town believe the local media, both the newspaper and radio station, have participated in mudslinging or muckraking by airing the reports and discussions on the three mayoral candidates' problems. It's too bad these same people can't see that the media are helping to uncover the truths behind the rumors, and wouldn't it be nice if those rumors and untruths could then be laid to rest and the truth survive.