Olsen’s principles are remindful of Goldwater | Letters | Aug. 27
August 27, 2010 · 10:41 AM
James M. Olsen is a candidate for Representative 23rd Legislative District, Position 2. Olsen has been a longtime strong voice for fiscal responsibility, First-Amendment-protected-speech, and educational reform.
Hearing the name “James Olsen” will move many a Bainbridge Islander into one camp or another.
History tells me of another galvanizing political figure, one my union-electrician grandfather proudly voted for.
I never learned who my grandfather voted for in his long life beyond this one man. In 1964, he cast his presidential ballot for Barry Goldwater.
I have come to the conclusion that James Olsen is the Barry Goldwater of Bainbridge Island and Kitsap County. For that reason, this vegan with progressive and libertarian sentiments proudly supports Olsen for the Washington State Legislature.
“Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice,” Barry Goldwater thundered before the Republican delegation in San Francisco, “and moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.” Goldwater never spoke in veiled language and he held to firm principles.
These principles gained for him a reaction of fear and derision which the cynical Lyndon Johnson shamelessly exploited with his “Daisy Girl” commercial – used only once. Goldwater once said that running for president that fall was like “trying to stand up in a hammock.”
The line came from an aptly named book “With No Apologies.”
James Olsen is blunt and often “politically incorrect.” He may be cast by his adversaries as extreme, but he is a man of conviction and principle.
That is no vice. Ms. Rolfes may be pleasant and charming. I have met her, and I like her husband and their children.
Yet, during this time of financial crisis and a painfully permanent transition, her moderation is no virtue.
We need someone representing us who will tell us what we wish not to hear and will say things we perceive as extreme because they question what Olsen’s wife, Mary Dombrowski, aptly called “tribal truths.”
I am not a conservative. I prefer Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky to Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, but I support James Olsen because he will take unpopular but needed actions.
I do not want to be told what I want to hear. I want to be told what I must hear. James Olsen will do that. Christine Rolfes, I must regretfully admit, will not.