Editor’s Column: Don’t be a sheeple

Two weeks ago I had the privilege of participating in a live radio broadcast on KDNK, Carbondale’s public radio station. Did you know CNCC had its own radio station once upon a time? And Meeker had its own radio station not too long ago?
A group of journalists from print and radio sources around the Western Slope gathered for a discussion about the status of local media.
One of the topics that came up was that to our utter dismay, we are not omniscient. Omniscient means “all-wise, all-knowing, all-seeing.” As much as we would like to imagine that we have a fly in every room and a bug in every meeting (oh, so tempting, thanks James Bond), that’s not reality. In order for the newspaper to attend your event, know about your meeting and cover your great-grandma’s cousin’s brother’s dog’s blue ribbon in obedience, we need you to let us know. It’s always a little frustrating to have someone say, “Why wasn’t such-and-so in the paper?” Only to realize no one told us.
Sometimes, folks will tell us about an event or newsworthy item, but we don’t have the staff to cover it. This month has been particularly interesting, with all of our reporters out on leave, on vacation or extra busy for one reason or another.
We’re appreciative of our “citizen journalists” who take photos and share them with us, or let us know about something that happened that we haven’t heard about yet, or share events that are upcoming.

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We have less than two weeks left until Election Day. Have you researched the ballot issues? Asked questions of the candidates? Or just colored in the dots according to your preferred party line or voted yea or nay based on biased TV advertising paid for by corporations seeking solely to protect their profits? Just asking. As my kids like to say, “Don’t be a sheeple.”

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Honestly, after the events of the last few weeks in my personal life, I’m so disgusted with national, state and local politics I’m ready to toss in the towel. Yes, I know, I’m experiencing the angry stage of grief. I just wasn’t expecting to be angry about everything, hence my updated photo this week. That’s me at 3 or 4, ready for a dance recital. (Hey, if we can’t laugh at ourselves, someone else will laugh at us, and laughter is a good thing.)
Too many politicians and wanna-be politicians think they’re entitled to elected office for reasons that have nothing to do with actual qualifications or a desire to serve the people. Politics, after all, is supposed to be public service, not a career or a way to profit.
Meanwhile, a huge chunk of our angsty drama is being fed to us by paid Russian bots on social media, which we gobble up and regurgitate with all the gullibility of a three-year-old.
Most of the excuses we’re using to justify all of this division and strife are trivial “first world problems” that will go away with the next pandemic, economic depression, world war or overwhelming natural disaster, which we seem to be lumbering toward like a snowball rolling downhill.
The great majority of people I know are kind, ethical, generous, gracious and loving souls. How have we allowed the minority to take up so much of our time, attention and money? Why have we put so many of them in positions of power? And, a better question, how are we going to get them out?

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