Opinion: Changing horses, even political ones

The aphorism “don’t change horses midstream” has always appealed to me. Perhaps it reflects a general bias towards managing change carefully. Perhaps, it simply points to the scores of cowboy movies that I watched as a kid. Some of the most dangerous, and therefore exciting moments, came when my favorite stars would reach the point in the cattle drive where they had to cross the raging river. Without exception, someone or something would be swept away by the rapidly moving current.

Our communities are faced with the same decision today. Do we stay with the same plan that we’ve come to know in traveling together these last several years? Or, have we identified enough concern about the stability and sure-footedness of our present conveyance to make a change – right now, even as the water is rushing by?

Local election years are perhaps the most important for the communities in which we live, and yet they are routinely overlooked. Folks don’t feel sufficiently informed to make it to the polls. Or, they fail to take note of the incredible importance of primaries in elections where the slated candidate of one party is ostensibly the given victor in the fall general election. The reader of this column is likely in such a position. The vote cast in the primary will ultimately determine the upcoming general. Vote! Vote! Vote!

As to the “horse” that we’re on, I’m not inclined to change. Like many reasonable people, I have some anxiety about the coming crossing. Our community is growing and with it comes changes, debt and uncertainty. Even if our current team is imperfect, they have made the crossing before and their behavior is predictable. Incumbents may be the old horse; but for this trip I’m inclined to stay the course.

Terry Anker

Terry Anker is an associate editor of Current Publishing, LLC. You may e-mail him at terry@youarecurrent.com.

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