“A noiseless course, not meddling with the affairs of others, unattractive of notice, is a mark that society is going on in happiness.” – Thomas Jefferson, referring to government.

In a day of noisy sensationalism, some of us might expect our elected officials to be routinely and publicly noisy or agitating somewhere for a cause. We might believe this somehow makes them effective and/or competent or attractive. When my family participated, years ago, in a reality TV show, we encountered the same mentality – the producers expected conflict and noise because conflict and noise sell.

A family does not function well in a spirit of constant agitation. Nor does government.

As a candidate, I have been asked repeatedly if I am prepared to participate in the ‘battles’ ahead … will I be part of the conflict and noise? I was asked that question when our family participated in the TV show. My response, then and now, is no. That is not how I operate. While the producers expected conflict, the kids and I counseled together. The most wonderful, productive moments we shared were off-camera, “unattractive of notice.” It was in a “noiseless course” we came to understand each other, establish expectations and consequences, and then went “on in happiness”.

( I need to clarify “off-camera” lest some twist my words to mean “secret”. We were never out of sight of cameras, for the whole week the kids stayed with us – even at night. Some footage was simply left out of the finished version.)

After raising 12 children, my skin is indeed thick and battle-scarred. I have seen my fair share of conflict and agitation, noise and meddling. It is not effective nor productive. I expect our public servants to pursue “a noiseless course”, “unattractive of notice”, to be effective and “go(ing) on in happiness”. That’s how I operate.