Washington could learn a lesson from Seymour forum


It has been a week since the mayoral forum where Democrat Rexanne Ude and Republican Matthew Nicholson shared their ideas on how they would lead our community if elected.

I think the forum was an important, informative event for our community, and I am happy to see 164 people attend.

Many times when you attend a candidate forum, something always sticks out. Maybe it’s an idea a candidate presented on an important issue or there’s a deep, philosophical difference between candidates that makes it memorable.

I don’t want to take away from the answers that both Nicholson and Ude gave because I think each made great points during the forum, but that is not what stuck out to me the most.

What did was how they treated each other with decency.

With every question and answer, I would notice that each would thank the other before moving on to their answer. While answering some questions throughout the night, I noticed both tell the crowd they agreed with what the other brought up and even said some of their comments were good points.

"I agree with Matt on that," Ude said during an answer to one of the questions.

"Rexanne made a good point there," Nicholson said during another.

Does that sound unfamiliar in politics to you? Why not?

It’s because we see politicians treat opponents the way they do every day on television, in newspapers and online. It seems all is lost for politicians to talk to each other, make their points and move on.

They must win every argument on every single issue, and they don’t seem to care how they treat one another to "be right."

While I think it was very important for citizens of Seymour to attend the forum last week, I think it would have done a great bit of good if our elected officials in Washington, D.C., would have gone to observe.

Politicians in our nation’s capital would have learned a great lesson in civility and how to make a point without demonizing each other.

Throughout most of the forum, it seemed as though Nicholson and Ude were encouraging each other.

When was the last time you saw that kind of discussion in Washington?

Let’s be clear, I think Nicholson and Ude both want to win this race and be our next mayor, but that didn’t stop them from being decent.

No matter who you vote for this year, remember that our ballot could set an example from people who need to see how to have a decent and thoughtful discussion.

Jordan Richart is a reporter for The Tribune. Send comments to [email protected].

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