The governor of Colorado is former Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, but, more important, he is the former proprietor of a popular local brew pub.
If you do not live up here where the air is thin, you’ve probably never heard of him. He does not say something just to piss somebody off, and he’d never think of making any of our places prone to traffic jams any worse just for “s*its and giggles,” let alone to punish someone.
He’s a former barkeeper with a personality for getting along with most everybody most of the time. That in and of itself is bit unusual these days. Lately the country seems to elect people from the “confrontational professions” as governors. To me, too many of them come across as preachy or pushy.
Being for the moment among the minority of states with a governor who simply knows the service business and who doesn’t get all egotistical about his current office seems like a kind of blessing.
I was reminded this week of all of this when Hickenlooper came through northern Colorado to mend fences from the little dustup we had last year about “succession.” He’s out to temper the kind of locker-room talk left over from the succession boomlet that’s now over and focus on areas where he’s worked well with politicians from both parties, such as flood relief.
His whole approach reminded me that it’s again time to have one of our little chats about tempering our own talk. At Food Safety News, we say we value the conversation, and we do. It’s just that when writing comments or commentary, it’s too easy to take the cheap shot.
We all do it. Just a couple weeks ago, I connected the word “charlatans” with the supplements industry. I should have left it with the factual report that science has found all those vitamins and minerals the supplements industry has turned into a $28-billion-per-year business are, in fact, worthless. It weakened my argument to connect the facts with a cheap label.
I’m not the only one writing occasional commentaries around here who occasionally makes that mistake. Mostly, however, I am thinking about all of you who usually do us proud with your comments. The strongest comments are always those that rest on the best evidence and not on personal insults.
The reason I think our governor usually gets his rhetoric right is that he came up talking to people across the bar. That’s the sort of environment where you have a pretty free field for making your points, but where you probably do not want to be too quick or easy with the nasty stuff because bar fights do still happen from time to time.
Civility, as they say, goes a long way.© Food Safety News