John McCroskey Commentary: Back to Writing: The State of the Country and Ever-Shifting Goalposts


After taking some time off from writing a column for The Chronicle, I was offered a chance to bring back my commentaries.

After some thought, I’ve decided to do just that. 

These are interesting and disturbing times and there are a good many issues I’m worried about.

I remember when I thought the nuts shutting down the timber industry over an owl were crazy, but those days look pretty sane right now.

Defunding the police?

Boys identifying as girls and competing against girls in sports and using the same showers and bathrooms too?

Kids who can’t buy beer, smoke or make any real serious and life-changing decisions can decide if they were born in the wrong body and in turn cause permanent harm to themselves.  And apparently doctors might not be able to refuse to do the procedures if they have a moral objection if Congress has its way, let alone objecting based on science.

Abortions by minors without parental knowledge? Good grief.

Riots being passed off as legitimate protests, destroying private property. Political authorities let it happen and in some cases meet with them to show support.

We’re being told all the things we have to do and give up because of COVID-19, and yet the southern border is wide open and illegal immigrants are welcome and dispersed all over the country, some with the virus. Others who have been identified as terrorists, gang members and criminals get through too, along with drugs and other problems.

The science we’re supposed to be following might suggest this is stupid.

We can’t oppose wide-open borders without being called racist, or distinguishing between legal and illegal entry, and there is a difference.

In fact, calling people racist has become the go-to weapon of the left. 

COVID-19 is racist. Climate change is racist. Having secure and fair elections with IDs — yep, racist.

America is supposedly racist, and some places want to teach our children that.

But this week, I’ll comment on the pandemic and government response to it, mostly because this past week, it was reported that Lewis County would likely be returned to Phase 2 of Gov. Jay Inslee’s reopening plan. Had that happened, it would have restricted many areas of our lives yet again.

Inslee ultimately “paused” the phases for two weeks, but his continued unilateral declarations remain concerning.

What’s perplexing to me is that when this all began and we were asked to take drastic steps like “stay home and save lives” on every Department of Transportation sign, we were told we’d beat this thing.

It was wearing masks and social distancing — that will solve this.

Flatten the curve and we’d be back to normal soon, they said. 

Get vaccinated and we’ll beat this, they say now. We’ve been treated to a slew of information from “experts” who have mostly been wrong from the beginning. And other experts who think differently are silenced so no real discussion can occur.

Meanwhile, nursing home and hospital patients die lonely deaths, like my aunt. One of her children got a few minutes with her right before she passed away, and not from COVID-19.

Another family member in an assisted living home wasn’t allowed to visit with her children outside 6 feet apart! Hopefully that’s changed, but that is crazy.

We’ve been told to follow the science, and in the beginning I realize there could be some confusion. But we’ve lived with this over a year, and if the experts really knew what they were doing, masks, social distancing and vaccines should have solved it, but they didn’t. Matter of fact, candidate Joe Biden said he had a plan. President Biden didn’t.

Shutting us down and killing small businesses didn’t fix it, but here we go again.

In a story by Chronicle Reporter Claudia Yaw, Lewis County Commissioner Sean Swope commented that he thinks people just might ignore another lockdown.

I know from my conversations around here that he’s right. Lots of people are tired of this and probably will ignore the likes of Inslee and the ever-changing goal line.

Most folks don’t believe what the news reports or officials say anymore.

That happens when you’re wrong too often.


John McCroskey was Lewis County sheriff from 1995 to 2005. He lives outside Chehalis, and can be contacted at