John McCroskey Commentary: ‘The Death of Common Sense’ Needs a Modern Rewrite


Some years ago, I read a book called “The Death of Common Sense” and marveled at the amount of stupidity permeating our country.

It was written in 1995, my first year as Lewis County sheriff. It’s only gotten worse since then. The book covered many examples, but one stuck in my mind. I don’t recall the year of this example, but the U.S. Department of Defense spent $2 billion on travel and $2.2 billion to process the paperwork for that travel.

I have no idea whether the author is still alive, but the examples he’d have to work with today are seemingly even more crazy — and expensive — than ever.

Some of the most obvious examples of losing our collective minds are in the news so frequently it reminds me of some old communist guy or politician suggesting if they tell a lie often enough, pretty soon that becomes the truth. Sadly, it’s true.

There is a commercial I’ve seen several times in which the character looks into the camera and suggests he may have committed some crimes, but he is not a criminal. I’m sure it’s one of many asking for money and it may well be a good program, but if you commit crimes that is (or used to be) the definition of being a criminal.

I don’t recall how many illegal aliens have crossed the border and entered our country because our elected officials in D.C. encourage it. I saw a survey where many Americans would describe it as an “invasion,” and so would I. But everyone from President Joe Biden down in the Democratic Party continues to tell us the border is secure despite actual footage showing otherwise.

So while we were being locked down and mandated to get “the jab” these people entering illegally were not, and they come from places bringing whatever diseases may exist in their countries.

Some are also bringing with them the deadly drug fentanyl, which is responsible for deaths every day across America.

Here in the U.S., in order to board a plane you need a passport or enhanced driver’s license or you can’t fly. But our federal government has determined that if you enter the U.S. illegally and have a warrant for your arrest, that warrant is sufficient identification for them to fly. Think about that a minute; those charged with keeping us safe have said that allowing someone with nothing but a warrant poses no risk to Americans on flights.

I have no idea how many took advantage of this convenience, but it looks foolish on several levels.

But perhaps the most bizarre thing currently, at least in my opinion, is the notion that schools should be teaching children they can choose their gender and be mutilated or drugged at an early age. They can pick a pronoun or two they want to be referred by, and somehow everyone around them has to remember what that pronoun is.

Further, some schools are encouraging teachers to keep secrets from the parents of these kids about their gender confusion or conversations.

Not that long ago, we were teaching kids not to keep secret their interactions with adults — especially if they were told not to tell — from their parents. As we know, not all adults can be trusted and sadly that can include some teachers and other walks of life. Telling kids to keep secrets from a parent is not something a school should encourage.

There are of course many other examples such as assault no longer being viewed as a violent crime, and looting and arson are peaceful activities, but I’ll close with this. Last June, Seattle police were pursuing a kidnapping suspect who called 911 to complain that he was being illegally chased in violation of the new state laws passed by our liberal Democrats in Olympia.

If it weren’t so dangerous, it would be funny. But it is, so it’s not.


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