Ad’k Current Politics and Other Musings by Colin Criss

Search of self often finds with ideas that are good for all

Our ability to choose representatives and have a say in government policies is one of our great privileges in this country, and it’s rooted in the right we have to form our own opinions based on our own conclusions.

We debate, proclaim, and protest freely, sometimes wildly. But when all is said and done, hopefully common ground has been found and we can move forward together.

Still it seems our views have become more polarized, as the events around us inspire different thoughts and reactions.

We generally break down into Democrats and Republicans, liberals or conservatives.

This idea seems alarming—that a person’s entire range of thought can be reduced so precisely to one of two labels, Democrat or Republican. Not to mention the party loyalties that accompany, for better or worse.

Doesn’t a person’s conscience ever wander from that of the establishment? Still, most of us succumb to our sense of party loyalty.

This polarization is very dangerous, especially in our tiny community.

Some issues have much more weight in the Central Adirondacks. Since our towns are so small in population, citizens feel local issues and policies are much more of their business than the national debates, due to the immediate impact our town’s policies have on our everyday life.

Time should be taken to understand these problems, instead of rushing to a conclusion and ignoring the opposing opinion.

In spite of this view, there are many issues that cause divisions.

An example of such an issue is the annual debate over the school budget.

Our community takes sides: some are determined to save public tax dollars no matter what the consequences are to athletic teams or art classes, and others are constantly pushing for more “extras” for the kids, regardless of price.

Both stances are shortsighted because of the lack of compromise.

Either argument may be correct, yet each argument fails to accept the other as a possible solution.

This problem is obviously much deeper than those two general beliefs, but those are the main influences in the community.

If we take sides too generally on issues like these, little will be solved correctly, and divisions will remain.

There is potential for correct solutions to come from either side of the political spectrum.

Analyzing each stance on a problem with a judicious mind should be our goal in any policy making situation.

Although politicians and “experts” help us understand what has to be fixed, their opinion is not something we should automatically accept as our own.

We are members of a small community, as well as members of a great nation, both of which have their own issues.

It is imperative that we use our consciences to make independent decisions in each scale of government.

Each of us should preserve our individual opinion and still be open to compromise.

If we were to do this collectively, our town’s and nation’s government system would be something to be proud of.

You can follow Colin Criss on Twitter @ADKCurrent

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