Key Thoughts


Rob Vajko

It's about keeping, not making

Presidential candidates make many promises. They promise to make America great again; they promise free health care or a free college education. They promise increased vigilance and safety; they promise more jobs and better pay. They make promises to get elected, and one of them will make enough promises in such a way that they will begin to sound maybe a little more believable than their opponent, and that candidate will become the next president of the United States of America.

But in the midst of all these promises, something gets lost. Donald Trump won't make America great again. Hillary Clinton won't make your neighborhood safer. Only you and I can do that.

What’s getting lost is the fact that your life and my life aren’t regulated and affected by government policies nearly as much as we seem to think, especially in these election years. Your life and my life are affected by the way we think and the way we act.

Whoever wins this election isn’t going to come visit you if you end up in the hospital. He or she isn’t going to bring you a meal when you are too sick to cook for yourself. He or she isn’t going to be there to throw you a birthday party or celebrate the birth of your new baby. The people who will be there to do those things are your family, your friends and your neighbors.

One of the qualities that make the Key Peninsula a great place to live is the sense of community, the sense of caring and the sense of belonging. It’s a place where people help each other. The KP is a place where you can get to know the name of the server in that restaurant you like. It’s the kind of place where a neighbor will shovel your driveway if you’re unable to do so when a snowstorm hits. It’s the kind of place where people get together to clean up the trash on the sides of the roads, to organize art walks and dances. It’s a place where you can attend a wine tasting or a book reading and get to know your neighbors a bit better; a place that has a garden club that raises money each year for the children’s hospital in Tacoma.

These are just a few of the events and organizations that I have been involved with the six years my wife and I have lived out here. I know that there are many others.

No set of changes on a bureaucratic level can make America great. Only you and I can do that by the way we treat each other, by the way we speak about each other, the way we greet each other, the way we smile and take time to share a glass of wine, a beer or an iced tea. No political candidate will make America great again because it already is, no matter what haters try to tell you. If it’s going to stay great it will be because you and I made the choice to keep it that way.