Common Sense with Dominick Bonny – The Wisdom of Our Elders


In this episode of Common Sense, Dominick Bonny picks up where he left of with his interview with Chelan County Auditor Skip Moore about our voting system. Later, Bonny taps into the wisdom of one of our Wenatchee elders, former Wenatchee Mayor and past 12th District Representative, Earl Tilly. They discuss what a retired public servant makes of the current state of politics locally and nationally.


Common Sense Episode 5 Wisdom of Our Elders Transcript & Sources

Hello and welcome back to another episode of Common Sense, I’m Dominick Bonny and rather than beginning this episode with a historical anecdote, joke, quote or quip – this week I want to pick up where we left off and jump right back into my interview with Chelan County Auditor Skip Moore about our voting system because this is a very important issue to Americans both locally and nationally.

But before we dive back into that interview, I’d like to mention that my second guest in this episode is none other than Earl Tilly, a pillar of the community here in North Central Washington who served as a 12th district legislator for about 14 years, as well as the mayor of Wenatchee for the better part of a decade and he also worked for the federal government as well. He has first-hand public service experience and understands government at every level. I’ve been lucky enough to get to know Earl and his wife Barbara over the last few years, and I wondered what a principled and intelligent retired public servant makes of the current state of politics locally and nationally.

But first let’s dive back into the second segment of our interview with Skip Moore, in which he’ll explain how our ballots are processed, counted, and securely relayed to the Secretary of State’s office. He’ll also tell us how it’s almost impossible to vote for other people, such as a relative who has passed away. So let’s jump back in. I’m Dominick Bonny and this is Common Sense.

A wise man once said, “God is in the details.” And it’s important to consider the details before allowing misinformation and political agendas to sway our opinions about something as important as the way we vote. If you’d like to watch my full interview with Skip Moore, there’s a link to the entire thing on Vimeo in the show notes, which you can find on NCWLIFE dot com, just go to the full episodes tab and find Common Sense.

Stay tuned after the break because we’re going to tap into the wisdom of our elders and have a discussion with former Wenatchee mayor, longtime 12th district representative, and all-around public service rockstar Earl Tilly. He’s 86 and one of the questions I asked him is: In your years of experience, where does 2020 stack up on the weirdness scale? His answer is interesting, and so is our discussion. See you after the break.

Welcome back. I met Earl and Barbara Tilly after the 2014 Carlton Complex wildfires that devastated towns like Pateros just north of the Wenatchee Valley. Earl wanted to do something to raise money to help folks up north who had lost homes, property and livestock. A mutual friend of ours, Josh Tarr, put us in touch and the rest, as they say, is history. My wife and I got together with Earl and Barbara and a small group of concerned neighbors and we put together a benefit event and concert called Raise the Roof at Pybus Public Market which resulted in thousands of dollars in donations for wildfire relief for those affected by the Carlton Complex Fires. Those donations were then matched by the Trivent Financial organization and donors from Grace Lutheran Church and all that money went to help rebuild homes and support those who had lost so much in that fire.

After that Earl invited my wife and me to join Rotary, which we did, and in the years since we’ve had the great honor to get to know Earl and Barbara better. Earl is a man of principle, who treats others with respect and dignity. He built a political career on honest, open communication and compromise. He’s the kind of public servant who got results by building consensus, not by pressing on fault lines and capitalizing on division. He’s an old school Republican, a compassionate conservative, which puts him, like so many, at odds with the current version of the GOP.

I visited him at his home in Wenatchee recently to get his take on the state of modern American politics, or should I say the dysfunction of modern American politics. Here’s what he had to say.

We also spoke about the governor’s race, Earl suspects an upset there, as well as his long history of volunteerism and service with Rotary International and more so if you’d like to watch the full interview catch the link in the show notes or on NCWLIFE dot com under the full episodes tab.

I’d like to thank Earl Tilly for speaking with me for this episode. I think it’s important to hear from old school principled Republicans like him right now. For Trump acolytes, it’s a reminder that there are a lot of conservatives, good people, who have been left out in the political wilderness by this modern version of the Republican party. For the folks on the left it’s a reminder that there are still republicans who consider themselves “compassionate conservatives” who would seek to strike compromises and work together for the good of the entire nation. The fact is that Donald Trump did not create divisions between us Americans, he merely exploits them to great effect. And there will be plenty of people to follow in his footsteps, but beware because politics, and public administration, is not a zero-sum game. It’s not winner take all, and when we run our Republic like that we all lose. We live in a system that was designed to create compromise, and if we refuse to elect those who would compromise then we’re dead in the water. It was the great German statesmen Otto Von Bismarck who said, “Politics is the art of the possible, the attainable — the art of the next best,” and we need to realize that is the way our public servants should approach their jobs. In a functioning democracy rarely does any one faction get exactly what it wants, and if it does it’s because that faction gave something to get something.

Whatever happens in November, and whoever is elected, we’re going to be the same people, the same nation, on Nov. 4 as we were on Nov. 2 because like it or not, we’re all in this together. Join us next time.


The full interview with Earl Tilly:

The full interview with Skip Moore:

Otto Von Bismarck quote: