To say it has been interesting in Missouri politics over the last few months is quite an understatement. It has been an embarrassment to watch events unfold and to garner the kind of publicity that we as a state would never seek.

To say it has been interesting in Missouri politics over the last few months is quite an understatement.  It has been an embarrassment to watch events unfold and to garner the kind of publicity that we as a state would never seek.  
I have been asked more times than I can count as to what I thought about the whole situation with our governor.  I have shared my personal opinions but that is all they are – my personal opinions.  And, for the purpose of this column, I’m not going to write about my thoughts and observations.
Without sitting on a committee or on a jury hearing all the facts, I can’t discern what is true and what is not in this whole debacle.  This much I do know, it has put a dark stain on our state and has added fuel to those that paint all politicians with a broad brush.
To use a football analogy, I will not pile onto a downed player. Only Governor Greitens and those immediately involved truly know what happened in all of the situations that we have heard about in the news.  The rest of us can only guess or come to our own conclusions based on what facts we think we know.
We have lived under a storm cloud for several months and it now appears that the clouds are opening and we are seeing sunshine peeking into Missouri’s political world.  Governor Greitens decided that it was best for him and the state of Missouri that he step down as Governor and allow us to move forward to brighter days.  And, for that I say thank you.
Now, as another assumes the title of Governor of the State of Missouri, we need to not dwell in the past but rather look forward to a fresh start.  I am excited for our state as Lt Governor Mike Parson becomes Governor Mike Parson.
I served with Mike and know a little about his character and how he interacted with his fellow legislators.  He and I did not always see eye to eye and we did butt heads on a couple of issues.  But, they were legitimate differences of opinion and we walked away from them as friends – not as adversaries.
With Mike I think what you see is what you get.  He is a Army veteran, former Sheriff, farmer and served in both the Missouri House and the Senate.  And, he is a Southwest Missouri boy.  But, I’m sure that he will tell you that his highest pride is in his family.  
I think that Mike brings to the position of Governor conservative, common sense values that will guide him well as he starts the difficult process of restoring Missouri’s tainted reputation with the rest of the nation.  One of his initiatives as Lt Governor was to showcase products that were made in Missouri.

As Governor, he will have an even larger platform to show the rest of the country and the world just how great our state is and just how much of an impact we can have on the global stage.  Yes the microscope is going to be on Governor Parson, but I think he is smart enough to know that he is not going to be able to guide our state in achieving great things without the help of others.

I told someone just the other day that as a leader, if you are the smartest person in the room then you aren’t much of a leader.  Great leaders understand that no one person knows everything so they surround themselves with people who all bring different talents and skills to the table.

I think that Mike is going to be that kind of leader and surround himself with great people.  I have heard him often talk about his faith in God so I trust that he will look not only to others to guide him but most importantly to God for direction.

When you look at our state, we are truly a microcosm of this nation as whole.  We have urban as well as rural areas both of which bring different challenges.  We have a diverse demographic mix and have had our share of problems dealing with cultural differences.  And it often seems that our political debates and issues mirror those of the nation.

Given all these things, maybe it’s time that we showed the rest of the nation how we, as Missourians, can deal with a myriad of problems with dignity and respect.  As we start a new path in this state I am hopeful that we will be successful in that endeavor.  To Governor Mike Parson, I give him my best wishes and most importantly my prayers.      
   

Kevin Wilson writes a column for the Neosho Daily News.