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Election time shouldn't be ugly

Posted: Friday, October 10, 2008

In so many ways the central peninsula area is an awesome place, with generous concerned neighbors living together, surrounded by incredible Alaska beauty.

So how does the local weather turn dark and ugly so quickly during election season?

When you and I don't agree, does that automatically make me evil and you ignorant, or visa versa? Is our agreement even a necessary or a worthwhile goal?

It seems to me that history is filled with a fair number of negative examples -- some horrific -- of what happens when everyone is of one mind.

Color me naive, but since we all live here and I see you down the row at a memorial service or across the room at a charity fundraiser, perhaps you and I could speak together. Imagine us talking about important things civilly and respectfully, whether we agree or disagree, not devaluing each other as human beings.

While this might take a little practice, energy and effort, it also could offer a glimmer of hope and perhaps even an example for someone else. Who knows? It might even catch on during the off season. Meanwhile, we've got a few more weeks until the end of the 2008 election season.

Can we talk?

Susan Smalley

Kenai



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