The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

Reaction to candidate's comment concerning Touchet Valley Trail opposition


October 31, 2019


In an October 13, 2019 Walla Walla Union Bulletin article outlining various candidates in the upcoming election, Dain Nysoe, incumbent candidate for Position 4 on Dayton City Council, had various comments on the proposed Touchet Valley Trail.  I encourage you to read the full article for additional context, but among Nysoe’s comments was the following quote:

“It’s a new idea, so some have expressed their opposition to the idea, and have either misunderstood the scope of the plan, or are just closed minded to new ideas.”

The “scope of the plan”, insofar as it has been defined, is not particularly difficult to understand from my perspective, so maybe Nysoe should have stripped the euphemism from his response and just said:  “It’s a new idea, and some have expressed their opposition to the idea.  These people are either dumb or closed minded.”

It seems a little binary, that conclusion.  We’re talking about a 9+ mile, multi-million dollar trail involving nearly fifty adjacent landowners, multiple adjacent businesses, a long list of conflicting concerns, entry/egress questions, ownership disputes, right-of-way usage disputes, etc.  Mr. Nysoe doesn’t think that some healthy opposition to the idea could be a little more nuanced than that tired old “dumb-or-closed-minded” routine?

Judging from his long resume at the end of the article, it’s obvious that Nysoe is not daft enough to  misunderstand the scope of the opposition, or closed minded enough to find opposing viewpoints unworthy of consideration.  He’s just engaging in the common political tactic of attacking character and intellect instead of examining ideas, measuring their merit, and engaging in real debate.  It’s disingenuous, and an easy thing to vote against, regardless of your political stripe.  

Seth Murdock

Dayton, WA


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