Scotts Valley shares its lampposts with the high school, where it features posters of all the graduating seniors for this year. (Contributed)

Sometimes you just have to turn to the man for guidance, and in this case, Shakespeare states it perfectly in “Macbeth”:

Double, double toil and trouble,
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.
By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes.

Macbeth did in fact fall victim to his blind ambition and in the end, of course, paid dearly for it. So it begs the question, what price are we paying for the maddening, disturbing, annoying and tiresome national politics we see today? It’s not healthy for a democracy. The churlish, immature behavior of both parties is more than disquieting. It is actually insulting and undermines the seriousness that is required for good governance.

Compare that to local government. Every week or two, your city council and Board of Supervisors meet and tackle problems. Many are mundane and routine. Sometimes there are disagreements and occasionally a petty jab gets thrown at another member, but the work gets done and we are all better for it. The dialogue is cordial and productive. We respect each other. It might be a pothole, a budget issue, an aggrieved commuter or 50 other things, but the method is functional and efficient and there are countless 5-0 votes. Routinely doing the peoples’ business is a welcomed craft that benefits our communities.

Occasionally, however, the dialogue and arguments get repetitive and it encourages one or more representatives to “call the question.” The subtext to that request is that we have heard enough, no new thoughts and things are getting tiresome, so let’s vote. A decision is made and we move on. Oh, if we could only do that for the upcoming presidential election.

Each campaign has many hundreds of millions of dollars and I fear that the level of venom, malice and spite will capsize any dreams of harmony that most of us strive for. Couldn’t we just move the date forward, say to next week, by calling the question and get the thing over with and spare the country weeks and weeks of rancor and division? I know. I’m dreaming, but the world does feel a little upside down.

I think we owe something to future generations and that includes respecting and embracing our democracy. Scotts Valley shares its lampposts with our high school, where it features posters of all the graduating seniors for this year. The fresh faces of Evan, Henry, Ashley, Mckay, Qynn, Raphael, Rex and Ayza (just to name a few) are a reminder that the future beckons us to enhance what we have and accept that we have a responsibility to leave a great country intact for these young people.

I’m not sure if there is a definitive tipping point where America slides into a political abyss, but respecting and resisting the possibility that “something wicked this way comes” is both sensible and foresighted. We can and must do better.

P.S. Scotts Valley will host its annual Fourth of July parade on Scotts Valley Drive. The Boys and Girls Club will have fun and games for kids and food trucks will be on site prior to the parade. Unfortunately, no fireworks this year as a site could not be secured and private funding was not fully raised by the nonprofit that sponsors the event.


Randy Johnson is mayor of the City of Scotts Valley. To reach Johnson, email [email protected] or call 831-438-0633.

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Randy Johnson is mayor of the City of Scotts Valley. To reach Johnson, email [email protected] or call 831-438-0633.

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