Editor’s Column: How did we get here?

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“Many a time freedom has been rolled back—and always for the same sorry reason: fear.”
~Molly Ivins.

I don’t care what mainstream media corporate overlord or so-called online “news” pig trough you’re feeding from, it’s time for all of us to step back and try to remember who we are as Americans.

In the last week two African Americans were shot to death at a Kroger store in Kentucky by a white nationalist, 11 Jewish Americans in Pittsburgh—several of whom survived the Holocaust—were murdered at their synagogue by a Nazi bigot who “just wanted to kill Jews,” and some whackadoodle in Florida who obviously needs a real job got busy sending pipe bombs to various perceived political “enemies”—also all Americans. Do you see the trend here? Americans against Americans, Americans afraid of other Americans.
What have we come to and how did we get here? Two of my grandfathers served in WW2 in the U.S. Navy to combat the very kind of thinking that is worming its ugly way into our national culture. When did it become socially acceptable to choose fear and hatred and bigotry over faith and love and unity? When did “one nation under God” and “in God we trust” fall by the wayside in favor of fear and loathing and ugly rhetoric?
Something has gone terribly awry somewhere, and it’s going to be up to us, as individual citizens, to figure out what. It’s up to us to extricate ourselves from foolish, divisive partisan rhetoric and find our truth as Americans again.
We like to call ourselves a Christian nation, yet the Golden Rule of Christianity is to “love our neighbors as ourselves.” We are falling far short of that command on too many fronts.
For too long, we’ve allowed the fear-mongers, the greedy and the power hungry to “run with the ball,” making enemies out of our fellow citizens. What is it going to take to wake us up and make us start acting like Americans again?
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During the last two years, I like to think we’ve developed a positive, cooperative relationship with our elected officials, appointed leaders and staff at the county and town levels, and with most of our special district boards, to the point I’ve been accused of being “too nice” and not “digging deep enough” to ferret out perceived corruption.
I believe, with a rare exception here and there, those community leaders acknowledge the value of having a local, independent newspaper through which they are held accountable for their representation to their constituents, and provided a platform to share their views and reasoning on decisions made.
That said, it is my sincere hope that following next week’s election, whatever the outcome, that the open and honest communication between our elected officials and the newspaper that serves our county will not be stymied or stifled in the future.
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Don’t forget, if you haven’t voted yet, it’s too late to mail your ballot. You need to drop it off at one of the ballot boxes or deliver it in person to your polling place.

Niki Turner
By Niki Turner | editor@ht1885.com

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