Our advice: Take a breath, do what you can, remain civil and respect others’ viewpoints
Our philosophy at Feather Publishing is to print the news that Plumas County residents can’t find anywhere else. In other words, our focus here is hyper local — what’s the board of supervisors up to; who won the Portola-Quincy basketball game; what movies are playing at the Town Hall Theatre — so largely we have stayed out of the national fray. But we are news junkies; that’s why we are in the profession and it’s dizzying to absorb the coverage — some of it seemingly accurate and other reports obviously not — that is televised, Facebooked, tweeted, broadcasted and printed. It can become overwhelming. It’s sad that the public knows which networks and other media sources are liberal and which are conservative. Journalists are trained to remain objective and even though we all have our personal opinions those are not to be reflected in what we write or say. When people gravitate to the news feeds that reflect their own opinions, then they continue to have those pointed views driven home day after day. As someone here noted, it’s like living in an echo chamber, with no new viewpoint being considered.
This newspaper is as divided as the country when it comes to national politics. There are discussions, but it remains civil. We listen to each other’s points of views and respect the person who is sharing them. Just as we have called for a heightened level of civility in our letters to the editor at this newspaper, we wish it could be more universal and extend beyond the borders of Plumas County.
Increasingly there are voices calling for California to separate from the rest of the union. There are those in Canada who are inviting California, Oregon and Washington to join their nation, and oh, “Hawaii can come too.” The comedian and political pundit Dennis Miller recently joked about a West Coast-East Coast nation connected by an Elon Musk tunnel, though he’d have to leave his beloved Santa Barbara. Some of the suggestions provide a light-hearted moment just when we all could use a laugh, but it does point to the deep divide that exists in our country.
The differences are real and can become polarizing. Our leaders and we citizens are going to have to find some common ground when possible and not just object to every opinion and suggestion that comes from the other side. We know that it’s difficult when someone is advocating for the very thing that we oppose the most, but we can’t continue the way we are.
Many Friday afternoons a group of local citizens gather on the corner of Dame Shirley Plaza in Quincy and hold up their signs. As night falls and it becomes colder, they are still there peacefully sharing their views with passersby. Whether one agrees with them or not, the manner in which they choose to share their views should be respected. As the days continue, we all need to pause and take a breath. We all must strive to do what we can to enact the change that we want to see, but let’s strive to remain civil and respectful and look for common ground.