Silly me.

I was thinking the other day about a message that could be sent to Mason City political candidates and voters: Do not let Prestage become the Bermuda Triangle of Mason City.

If we keep flying into that troubled zone by continuing to harp on it, to judge our potential future public officials by their views on it, to continue to use it as a wedge to divide us, then we are probably doomed to live in the past.

And that is tantamount to flying into the Bermuda Triangle where goals and good ideas will just be lost in space.

Social media recently has been filled with comments from people who want to know how Tom Thoma, Troy Levenhagen and other announced City Council candidates would have voted on the Prestage issue if they'd had the chance.

In each case, the question came from an anti-Prestage person, and the inference was, if the candidates were for the Prestage deal, these voters will be against them, regardless of what their views are on any of the many other issues that affect the city.

It seems dangerous to judge anyone on the basis of one issue. We cannot be looking in the rear-view mirror to the extent that we ignore opportunities that are right in front of us.

I have a good friend who is opposed to abortion and therefore agrees with Republicans on that issue. But he is steadfastly opposed to GOP positions on many other issues. Should his views on one issue override the concerns he has on all the others? He has to consider that in every election cycle.

Ten years ago, when John Edwards sought the Democratic nomination for president, his aides told him he was relying too heavily on the American Trial Lawyers Association for financial support.

One of his advisers told him, "Don't put all your begs in one ask-it."

Locally, the same holds true in what we ask of our political candidates.

City Council seats will be up for grabs in September (Third Ward) and November (At-large and Second and Fourth Wards). If nobody runs unopposed, there will be at least eight candidates -- and probably more -- for voters to evaluate.

Here's a thought for you: If there are eight candidates -- or 10 or 12 or 20 -- and each of them holds the same view on how they would have voted on Prestage, whether it be for or against -- it would become a non-issue.

Voters would have to decide whom they favored based on other factors, rather than putting all of their begs in one ask-it.

That won't happen, of course, but it would be one way we could avoid flying into that Bermuda Triangle where we could be heading, if we're not careful.

Silly me.


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