The political playoffs have officially reached the homestretch, which is evident the moment I turn on the TV looking for a football game.
The first political event I covered since arriving at this publication was the Kitsap County commissioners forum Oct. 11, sponsored by the Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce.
The candidates were Chris Tibbs and Robert Gelder for District No. 1 and Linda Simpson and Charlotte Garrido for District No. 2.
I was impressed with the level of the discussion and lack of acrimony. Compared to most races I cover around the state, this forum was downright civilized, nearly unheard of in most American political boxing matches I follow.
The candidates talked about tightening and loosening the nuts and bolts of county government – how to make it really work. There were clear differences, but the mechanics of our republic system of governing was evident. I always find that entertaining, which probably makes me a very boring individual. Many will attest to that.
During the forum I began thinking about a lecture on Roman emperors by Professor Garrett G. Fagan that I listened to a few weeks ago. The lecture series is available through most public library systems and it is very good.
Part of what hooked my attention was his theory about the fall of the Roman republic and a fight over a land use bill.
During the past 10 years or so, I have covered a couple of the more controversial land battles in the state and the resulting political skirmishes.
Every city and county in the state deals with land use on a daily basis. Whether bringing in businesses permitting walls and roofs to be built are all directly related to land use and the decisions that staff, elected officials and citizens must grapple with daily.
Commissioner candidates spent considerable time during the Oct. 11 forum addressing these issues as they pertain to Kitsap County and its cities.
What caught my attention during the Fagan lecture was when he addressed the seeds of destruction that eventually took down the Roman republic.
He described one theory from Ronald Syme’s 1939 book, “The Roman Revolution.” Syme believed the republic was “ripped to pieces by self-serving Roman aristocrats who paid lip service to highfalutin ideals, but were seeking nothing but their own dominance.”