Submitted by Dave Zink.
Ballots are out, and as a Steilacoom resident I’m interested in knowing about the candidates for Mayor. Dick Muri is a long-time resident of Steilacoom and has been very active in our community. I feel I know him pretty well. His opponent, Nino Vaccaro, on the other hand, is relatively new and unknown. Now, there’s nothing wrong with being new. The questions we voters must answer are: who is Nino Vaccaro, what does he stand for, and what has he done? What’s his track record? I haven’t been able to identify anything Vaccaro has done for Steilacoom, but I did find some information about what he stands for and who he is.
I found out Vaccaro has a YouTube radio show, so I looked it up. After listening to some of his radio programs I became quite concerned. To say his views are extreme might be putting it a little too mildly. One of his comments is literally extraterrestrial in nature. Mr. Vaccaro apparently buys into many of the weird conspiracies being circulated about the government and the media – even though he himself has a place in the media. Here is a sample quote from his recent radio program: “Know that the federal government, the cancerous media, is, in fact, the enemy of the people right now.” https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCv66NWOLY3lz4lwJrOXYdTw).
Amazing statement, considering that from 2016 through 2020 our government was run by Russian sympathizers. In 2020 we elected new and quite different political leaders to represent us, and those elections—despite 60 plus court challenges and numerous audits—have all been upheld as fair and legal. In our democracy “We the People” control the government. That’s true whether we have Republicans or Democrats holding office. Unfortunately, Trump and his followers seem intent on doing everything they can to destroy our democratic republic, and Mr. Vaccaro is promoting some of their ideas in his radio program.
As for the media being cancerous, Vaccaro’s YouTube program is part of the media. Does his claim about the media include himself? Are there good and bad media outlets, or is his show the only one that isn’t cancerous? What are the other non-cancerous media, if there are any? I think Vaccaro’s answers to those questions would tell us a lot about him.
In an interview with the Tacoma News Tribune titled “Steilacoom mayor race between former legislator Dick Muri, and YouTuber Nino Vaccaro” (see Election of Steilacoom Mayor (cormorantpassage.com), Vaccaro said he wants to do away with “identity politics.” While it isn’t clear from that interview what he meant, those currently making wild claims about the government and the media tend to want to end the discussion about how groups of people treat one another. It seems they want to do away with terms like racism and sexism to reduce the risk of being accused of those behaviors. People who argue for the elimination of such terms are typically people who have been stung by them. Rather than using those situations to learn and grow, they externalize the problem and attack anyone who doesn’t see them as the victim.
One of Vaccaro’s strangest claims comes in Episode 15 of his YouTube program (Ep.15 Never Forget – YouTube). He plays a video of the 9-11 attack on the twin towers and identifies a smoke formation that he proposes to be the devil. Whether or not you believe in God or other spiritual beings, that’s a pretty preposterous and freaky claim. He then challenges the viewers to call him crazy if they want. I’m sorry, but I think I might have to oblige you on that one, Nino. Yes, there is some swirling smoke there. And if pressed, one could possibly construe a face, just as one might in watching cloud formations on a hot summer’s day. But the devil? Really? I think I’ll vote for Dick Muri.