Courtney Childs’ letter (Mailbag, April 2) may have been written with good intentions, but it sadly ignores a negative archetype from Oregon’s history that is once again threatening our local communities.
None so perfectly embody the archetype of the Conquering Statesman as Lindsay Applegate. Like the Elon Musk of the 1840s, he built the roads government couldn’t. Applegate’s prosperity from that venture propelled him into politics, where he helped form Oregon’s first militia — and promptly used it to drive out the locals and to exile many of the earlier settlers who did not fit in to his “progressive” vision for Oregon.
Today, the Conquering Statesman archetype rides again. This time it is led by a “progressive” governor who wasn’t born or raised within 1,000 miles of our homeland. Through political chicanery, she was appointed into positions of power — not once, but twice. Now she has begun to insert her allies into our local communities; she is appointing judges and other should-be-elected officials and giving them the same incumbent advantage she holds in Salem.
Lindsay Applegate set the precedent for Oregon’s anti-Negro, anti-Chinese, and anti-Native American policies that continued for more than a century. The “progressive” image painted by Childs’ letter carries similar connotations. We already have an Applegate in the Governor’s Mansion. Let’s not let Oregon fall to another wave of conquerors who think their idea of “progress” supersedes our own.