Singleton

In 18 months of writing in Lincoln County, I’m getting used to people agreeing and disagreeing with what I write.

This I’ve gotten used to.

I’ve said on many occasions it’s the price of doing business.

However, what I will never get used to is the unabashed hypocrisy coming from our elected leaders in Jefferson City, nor the expectation from the rest of us that we will actually accept this hypocrisy with a straight face.

On Sept. 29, Gov. Mike Parson approved $1.8 million in grant assistance to 19 agencies statewide to investigate and prosecute crimes against children.

That includes $300,000 for the Lincoln County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office!

“I have spent my time in the Missouri Legislature advocating and fighting for the children of our state,” District 10 Senator Jeanie Riddle said. “These grant awards mean over $1.8 million will be going to communities across our state to protect children, bring justice to victims and ensure the investigation, prosecution and punishment of criminals who prey on kids. 

“The $300,000 grant that is going to Lincoln County will allow the Prosecutor’s Office to direct the funds to best meet the specific, local needs to help safeguard our children.”

Wonderful! Awesome! Best news ever!

Wait a minute…

Isn’t that the same $300,000 Parson vetoed back in June because it was earmarked for one county, even though he approved funding earmarked for single counties in the same $3.5-billion budget?

Isn’t this the same veto Riddle voted to uphold a couple weeks ago in veto session after the House overwhelmingly voted to override it? 

It’s curious she would support such a veto of a bill that would protect the children of the very area she represents, especially if she has spent her time “in the Missouri Legislature advocating and fighting for the children of our state.”

Nevertheless, the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office is getting the funding it needs, which is a great thing. However, that grant money is only going to last a year.

What happens once that year ends?

The prosecutors, investigators and social workers who work tirelessly to bring predators to justice in Lincoln County are brought right back to square one without funding.

Worse yet, the victims will be brought right back to square one, for there will always be victims, unfortunately.

We’re not talking about a minor inconvenience, or traffic enforcement. We’re not even talking about infrastructure initiatives – though deity forbid Lincoln County needs those (That’s a subject for another column entirely altogether.).

Will not just Lincoln County, but every county receiving this funding, have to worry about the horror of losing potential predators to the streets because the money has run out?

Do we have to grovel at the feet of Gov. Parson for funding every year?

Is constantly kicking the can down the road something we can live with? 

These are children’s lives we’re talking about here!

This shouldn’t be a partisan issue!

This shouldn’t be a Democrat, Republican, Libertarian or any ideological issue!

This comes down to two things: right and wrong.

When I was stationed aboard the U.S.S. Wasp, out of boredom, I read Tolstoy’s “War and Peace,” and one quote still stands out to me to this day.

“How can one be well…when one suffers morally?”

I’m just going to leave this right here for posterity.