Adkins: A reluctant return to reality


Michael Adkins

While my fellow Hoosiers suffered through the late-January winter storm with its ice, snow and high winds, I was in paradise. I spent two weeks on Maui, where the most boring job is that of TV weatherman. There is no bad time to be in Maui. If I had been the recent winner of the multi-billion-dollar lottery, I would be living in Maui as we speak. Actually, my wife tells me that “ain’t gonna happen” unless I play the lottery, and it would not be with her. Seems she puts the grandkids first.

All good things come to an end. I had to leave happy Hawaii and return to reality. I gotta tell you — reality oftentimes sucks. My first stop on the journey home was a layover in Arizona. If there is a state that epitomizes the sorry state of American politics, it just might be Arizona. The internecine warfare amongst that state’s Republicans is humorous at best and downright ugly at the worst. You have a losing Republican trying to kill the victor along with a number of election officials — primarily other Republicans. And, of course, Arizona has MAGA candidate for governor Kari Lake. Having lost her bid, she immediately pulled a Donald Trump, claiming the election was stolen from her. Four months later, she proclaimed the judge ignored tons of evidence when, in fact, she provided none. If she is not careful, Miss Lake may overtake the likes of Marjorie Taylor Green and Lauren Boebert as the face of the Republican Party’s “crazy wing.”

I admit it is good to be back home in Indiana, where our politics is not so crazy, though at times it is simply stupid. Take for instance the Republican supermajority’s latest stunt — trying to politicize public school boards. Such a political maneuver may make them crazy as a fox, but honestly now, it is a stupid idea. Indiana ranks poorly among the 50 states in education, due in large part to a couple of decades of political interference. But then in the Hoosier State, one may be rewarded for such interference by being appointed a university President.

Not all is bad in terms of Hoosier Republicans in the General Assembly. Our very own state senator, Mike Crider, continues his exemplary efforts to improve the mental health of Hoosiers. My hat is off to him. However, if I find out he supports the politization of public-school boards, I will offer him my thoughts on the matter.

Speaking of political interference in education, what does Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis think he is accomplishing? His views and actions on education may be what you’d expect from a fawning fascist but not from an American.

National politics is not much better. In Washington, the “crazy wing” of the GOP made the president look good on TV while making themselves appear hopelessly juvenile with their idiotic performance during the State of the Union Address. China sent a spy balloon over the U.S. and some of the “crazy wing” declared it carried poisons, again, with no shred of evidence. Republicans who derided the president for not shooting it down sooner, ignoring the safety of our citizens, were made to look foolish when it was announced that three such balloons were ignored by the Trump administration. China said it was a weather balloon and the U.S. spies on China; Biden said no we don’t. Both lied. The biggest takeaway from the balloon incident is that, obviously our spying capabilities are far more sophisticated than theirs.

Yes, it’s good to be back home again in Indiana. Not to rub it in, but did I mention I spent two weeks in Maui? OK … I am rubbing it in.

Michael Adkins is a former Chair of the Hancock County Democratic Party.