Area offers cure for post-election season

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Guest columnist

This year I have seen river otters, trumpeter swans, sandhill cranes, Canada geese, deer...

Now that the elections are over it is time to take a deep breath and exhale all the B.S. we have been subjected to. It’s time to reconnect with life here in Montana. Time to enjoy the waning days of fall and get ready for winter. Rake the last of the leaves and get the snow shovel out of the garage. Forget about politics for a while.

... bald eagles, golden eagles, pelicans ...

This has been a brutal election season that has polarized our nation and raised our ire. We need to accept the results, no matter who won or lost, and get back to being fellow Americans, being friends and neighbors. Not respecting or talking to someone because of their political beliefs is foolish. We are at our strongest as a nation when we are unified.

... a myriad of ducks, hundreds of seagulls flying in a great circle, trout rising ...

Broadcast news today, whether by radio, television, or the web is far different from what it used to be. Growing up we had three television stations that had one half hour news broadcasts. Little or no opinion, just news. We watched the news and formed our own opinions. Left or right minded our opinions of war, murder, and injustice were not all that different. And we all rejoiced at events like a moon landing or a royal wedding.

... osprey building their nest, diving for trout to nurture their offspring, first flight of the young ...

But you watch the news today, particularly on the onehour cable shows, and you are bombarded with opinion. A one-hour show on Fox, MSNBC, or CNN may have 5 minutes of actual news and the rest is opinion. Opposing guests are pitted together to raise the heat and stoke your anger. It’s hard to tell where the news ends and the opinion begins. No wonder we get so angry.

... various hawks, entertaining magpies, and a big beautiful black bear ...

And the web, anybody can say anything with no accountability and someone will take it as gospel. People with the most extreme views can find friends who share those views, views that are often rooted in fantasy and hate.

... and I’ve met some wonderful people and some great dogs ...

What’s the big deal with my list of things I’ve seen this year you ask? After all we live in Montana. But all of this has been experienced on morning walks with my dog, Sarah, at the levee trail by the Miles Park band shell.

I encourage every one of you to turn off the television or the computer and get out. We live in a beautiful place in a country that has been and is great.

Take that deep breath and appreciate what you have.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Mark Adams grew up in Chicago but traveled west after college. He and his dog, Sarah, live in Livingston.

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