Thanksgiving is this week, and I’ve been thinking about the many things I’m thankful for.
Family, friends, good health, a full refrigerator, a roof over my head, a good job, a great community – those are all on the list. And there are a lot of other things to be thankful for, as well.
For example, I’m thankful this year’s election season is over. I’m thankful that the relentless onslaught of robo-calls targeting my cell phone (which doubles as my home phone) has finally ceased. I did not want to hear even one more negative message aimed at undermining my confidence in sizing up the candidates competing for office.
I’m thankful I don’t have to listen to any more complaints from readers who don’t like the front-page sticky-note ads or the insistent online pop-up ads that promote candidates and make it more difficult to see the news story beneath.
With election season behind us, I’m thankful I no longer have to explain that the words “PAID ADVERTISEMENT” should make it clear to readers that, like it or not, a candidate paid for that annoying but very effective ad. And no, the fact that the ad was so visible does not mean the newspaper was in the pocket of some particular candidate. All ad positions were available to all candidates, first come, first served.
I’m thankful the election bitterness has (mostly) passed. As Election Day loomed, anger, anxiety and distrust boiled like a nasty, fetid stew not just at the national level, with the race for the presidency, but also at the state level, with the bitter battle for our District 10 state Senate seat. That acrid brew bubbled and roiled even at the local level, with the contentious Island County commissioner races.
I’m thankful that in this American democracy, we can disagree with each other but still live and work together in a cooperative way that doesn’t devolve into the kind of internecine warfare that has been so destructive in other nations.
I’m also thankful to the members of our military who put their lives on the line to defend that democracy we all hold so dear.
Speaking of democracy, I’m thankful for our community newspapers that contribute so much to informing voters about the candidates running for public office.
I’m also thankful for the many people who recognize the critical role of journalism in supporting the continued success of the American democratic process. Without our readers who pay for subscriptions, and our local businesses that pay for advertisements, there would be no reporters going to all those boring government meetings to fulfill the important watchdog role of keeping an eye on elected officials and what they’re doing with our tax dollars.
On Thanksgiving, I’ll be down at the Coupeville Rec Hall for the annual community potluck. I’m thankful for the opportunity to share a festive meal with a cheerful crowd of friends and neighbors, all gathered to share their best-loved potluck dishes.
We may not all agree on politics, and some of us prefer apple pie over pumpkin pie, but we can break bread together and simply enjoy the abundance of the day.
And for that, I am very thankful.
– Publisher Kasia Pierzga