I wrote in my last column about things that make living in our area great. Well, to quote Lynn Anderson’s 1971 hit song “Rose Garden” … along with the sunshine, there’s gotta be a little rain sometimes. Here are some issues that might hinder but also can help our future and continued quality of life in upstate New York.
Our newspaper, “The Daily Star,” is based in Oneonta and covers four counties: Otsego, Delaware, Chenango and Schoharie. The city of Oneonta is primarily liberal (with two liberal arts colleges in town, this is no surprise and expected); the outer rural areas are primarily conservative.
This diversity, while it makes life interesting (depending on how someone views it), also creates polarization of our communities. I have never in all of my life seen our country and our communities so polarized as they are right now. Animosity and Apathy are bi-products that create a stalemate of ineffectiveness and blame-game. These two issues left unchecked will be the downfall of our communities and our country. Whatever happened to the art of moderation?
It amazes me how so many people will take information and put their spin on it to fit only their agenda. This is the age of the 24/7 access to the Internet, and news information is easily accessible. But remember this, more than half that information on the Internet is incorrect. Make sure you are looking at viable news sites that have unbiased reporting. (Yes, they are out there.) Why not look at the opposing view to see what you might be missing or haven’t thought about?
Step up and be involved in your neighborhoods, communities and schools. Let your voices be heard. Write a letter to the editor of this newspaper or to an elected official. Make sure you register and vote. Only 57.5 percent of voting age citizens turned out at the last presidential election. Compare those results to the majority of other nations, which average 90 percent to 70 percent turnout for elections.