Lance Scranton: It’s not right!
Ever notice how much attention the things that just don’t seem to be working correctly tend to get in the news and on social media?
How come the good things aren’t reported on as naturally as the negative stuff that circulates throughout the news cycles every day? Why don’t the regular people who go to work everyday and do what they should make the headlines each and every day instead of in a special insert, or monthly focus, or quarterly spotlight? Why do people clamor to justify the needs of people who want to enter our country and take advantage of the benefits we work so hard to provide while being OK with veterans who can’t get the services they need or homeless people living on the streets who need our help, as well?
Maybe it isn’t a red or blue problem, though that would be an easy answer, because then, we don’t really have to do anything about it; Republicans and Democrats just see the world differently — right? Maybe not.
Maybe it is a fundamental American belief in helping people who are less fortunate, downtrodden, or subjected to unfair treatment that drives us each to try and find solutions. No, we don’t all agree on the role of government in supporting specific needs (Amendment 73), but we do believe government has a role (city sales tax increase) in providing some services.
We, in Colorado specifically, appear to be socially liberal (our governor-elect) but fiscally conservative (most tax increase measures failed). It seems most people don’t have big issues with how politicians live their lives, as long as they have the best interests of those who they serve in mind. This isn’t really a Democrat/Republican thing as much as it is a statement about our society as a whole — that believe people should be left alone to make determinations about what is best for them (the Founding Fathers called it liberty).
It doesn’t seem right that a Democrat is only identified as someone who wants to shut down power plants and coal mines, and litter the countryside with windmills and solar panels. It isn’t right that Republicans are pigeon-holed as a bunch of gun-crazy, planet polluters who think smaller government means leaving them alone to do whatever they like.
I know it isn’t right, because I know people from both sides of the political spectrum who love our country but have reasoned, well-thought-out differences of opinion as to how best achieve the American Dream. I’m not sure we will ever change the way Washington does business or how the media chooses to present caricatures of people who believe a certain way of living is best, but if we move forward, it will only be possible when we decide, as communities, that the answers might just be right here where we live — if we choose to look.
Lance Scranton is a teacher and coach at Moffat County High School.
On a cool autumn afternoon in 1914 Hayden, a human being was seen occupying space previously reserved for only birds, clouds and celestial bodies. It was a monumental occasion — one that shook the very fiber of reality for the people of Northwest Colorado.