Editorial: Patriotism at the park | CraigDailyPress.com

Editorial: Patriotism at the park

The following quote seems a fitting one to recite today, given recent events in Craig and Moffat County:

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has,” said Margaret Mead, a late American cultural anthropologist.

It’s much too early to say whether Craig and Moffat County, a small community no more than a blip on the electoral map, will have influenced any sort of meaningful change on the national political landscape stemming from GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s visit Tuesday to downtown Craig.

The idealistic few among us certainly have high hopes Romney will be victorious in November, do as he said he would and remember our community, and orchestrate change and deregulation favorable to our energy industries.

In short, we hope a scenario plays out that makes Mead and her words prophetic.

Then there are the more cynical among us who believe the Romney visit was merely a window dressing, a visit by a man unlikely to ever occupy the Oval Office, and who probably wouldn’t remember Craig, its people or issues any more than a thousand other stops along the campaign trail.

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But when discussing the historic Romney visit to Craig, it’s probably best to leave politics out of the mix.

The editorial board, with no unified consensus favoring Romney or President Barack Obama this November, looked at the visit in a different light.

Whatever the cost to accommodate Romney and his staff — it appears the figure will exceed $25,000 — it was worth it for the exposure the appearance provided for our community.

Local and state media, even national outlets like the New York Times, were here right along with the former Massachusetts governor, giving Craig and Moffat County a platform it could never have bought otherwise.

That may not seem like a big deal to some, but the editorial board believes it invaluable.

Once news of the visit broke May 25, our community and its issues, most notably the preservation of energy jobs, became the focus for media outlets in print and online for several days, shedding light on a subject vitally important to our local economy.

The editorial board is also proud of the community for Tuesday’s turnout.

We were a good host to the Romney campaign, an enthusiastic supporter for the most part, and there doesn’t appear to have been any ugly incidents to mar the visit.

It was an energized and patriotic crowd at Alice Pleasant Park, where Romney spoke for about 14 minutes. People of all kinds were there, shaping a scene reminiscent of those up the street in the Norman Rockwell exhibit at the Museum of Northwest Colorado.

The Romney visit, coupled with last year’s appearance by Gov. John Hickenlooper, indicates that, if nothing else, people at some of the highest levels are now paying attention to Craig and Moffat County.

That hasn’t always been the case, but maybe the landscape, thanks to a “small group of thoughtful, committed people,” is changing.

After all, Craig is basking in the afterglow of a presidential campaign visit.

That alone tells us stranger things have happened.

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Editorial board members:

• Al Cashion

— Community representative

• Bryce Jacobson

— Newspaper representative

• Jerry Martin

— Newspaper representative

• Joshua Roberts

— Newspaper representative

Our View

Craig and Moffat County was a fantastic host for this week’s presidential campaign visit by GOP contender Mitt Romney. And, there was a return on that investment: quite simply, the event provided exposure to our community and issues money can’t buy.