Washington State Had A Bombastic Politician Before Trump
The presidential election is finally over A lot of folks are upset over the harshness and crassness of the campaigns. It was a new low in American politics that will set the stage for all the elections that follow.
You might think Donald Trump was the first to speak his mind so bluntly, but I recall growing up in Washington when another politician was bombastic, loud and "Trump-like" -- and she ended up becoming governor.
I'm speaking of Dixy Lee Ray, who was the Washington governor from 1977-1981. Before she was elected as a Democrat, she was a political novice, having never served in any elected office. She was once quoted as saying "I was much too old to start at the bottom, so I decided to start at the top."
She was controversial but smart. She was a scientist and most would agree very intelligent, which in turn made for some awkward social situations I'm sure.
She made choices based on her own thinking and alienated both parties along the way.
I found some really choice quotes from Dixy and her frankness with voters and constituents alike.
She fired 124 state employees from the previous administration and offered "a box of Kleenex with their pink slips"
She was asked if she'd met any gay state employees and she responded "I don't know any – you can't tell by looking at them,"
She won on election night and a reporter asked if she was surprised and she responded "it can't be because I'm so pretty?"
Dixy didn't win re-election in 1981 but she'll always be remembered for being bold, speaking her mind and never relenting her position when she took a stand.
We look now to the future with our President-elect Trump, but we should peel a page back in history and realize that someone else blazed the trail long before he did.