From the editor: The final push to Nov. 2 |

From the editor: The final push to Nov. 2

Cuyler Meade, editor, Craig Press
Craig Press

I’m exhausted, you guys.

I know I’m anything but alone in this. Election season — it’s exhausting.

On some level, I get really amped for this stuff. I enjoy the civic discourse. I enjoy the passion for community. I enjoy the stories and diving into the complexities of the issues and meeting the hopeful candidates. It’s fun. it’s exciting. It’s exhilarating.

But it’s also exhausting.

Politics are rough business. I won’t make the jokes about what that means about the people who get into them, in part because I don’t believe those jokes are true. I have enormous respect for anyone who puts their lives on hold to vie for the approval of a community — whatever that approval might mean.

I’m enamored with the love for place that is exhibited by the passionate political efforts at a local level. Of course there are those I wouldn’t personally agree with, and, worse, there are those that are doing it for the wrong reasons. But at the local level, that latter group strikes me as fewer and farther between than at the state or national scales.

That said, what exhausts me — outside of the marathon-like race to the finish that is election day — is the tones that can be struck by participants in politics, even at the local level.

Maybe especially at the local level. It makes me sad, it makes me a bit angry, and it makes me just really, really tired when I see personal attacks, devious, bad-faith red herrings, and insincere debates. It’s OK to disagree — it’s important, even. But when we start to act like those national politicos here at home, that’s when it gets tough for me to hang.

I’m not wagging a finger here. I’m just urging that our better angels might win out as we sprint this final stretch toward Nov. 2. I’ve seen an awful lot of good-natured, honest differences of opinion. I’ve seen an awful lot of passion that’s properly tempered by compassion. But all of us can start to feel that our local political atmosphere might be starting to tilt to a place none of us should want to go.

I understand the instinct. We do what we see. We see the state and national politicians and we think, “I guess that’s how it’s done.” But everyone — I mean everyone — can agree that that’s just not the way it ought to be done. National politics are poison. I find the semi-nouveau use of the word “toxic” to be a bit tiresome, but it describes national politics to a tee. It’s radioactive sludge. It’s a virus.

But if we stay distanced enough from the contagion zone — and out here in Moffat County we stand a better chance to do that than folks in other parts of the country — we can keep our body politic free of that disease. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.

In fact, it’s vital. Because that disease of unkindness, insincerity and intellectual dishonesty that you see in big-time politics can be deadly to a community.

So, here we are, on the precipice of a big moment. Whatever’s past is past. Let’s move forward to Nov. 2 with love and patience for one another — perhaps most importantly respect — and remember that, whatever our property taxes are, whatever our elected officials decide, we’re still neighbors.

Let’s cross the finish line together.

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