Rise and shine in this great awakening

Despite the doom and gloom on one side, and the anger and vitriol on the other, there seems to be something positive resulting from the most recent national election. Although the country seemingly remains as divisive as at any time in its history, it seems the election might have prompted a great awakening in American political history.

Americans here and across the country are actually getting away from their social media echo chambers and getting out in public to express their opinions. At this newspaper, we’ve noticed a definite increase in letters to the editor, and we say keep them coming.

Write about what you feel strongly about, whatever the topic. This is America, which still remains a land of people free to express themselves and brave enough to do it in the public marketplace of ideas.

It does take courage to express yourself, even in a place where freedom of speech prevails. When you express yourself in public, it is guaranteed there are people out there witnessing that expression who disagree with you.

How or if they react is up to them, because they have the same right to free speech as you do. Dissent is often the response, and the response can be crude, impolite and borderline intimidation. It’s not always comfortable in the public square.

It is important, however, that discourse and debate are allowed to happen in a free flow of information. It is one way voters can make informed choices on providing consent to those who govern in a democracy. When information is restricted — and it often is — and debate is muted, apathy sets in, and voters make bad decisions.

In recent weeks, we’ve seen an uptick in political activity, some of it backlash against us (from individuals who won’t take public stands) for supporting free expression. They think we shouldn’t print news like that and express their protest by canceling their subscriptions.

So we, your local newspaper, also pay a price for supporting freedom of speech, but in the grand scheme of this great awakening, it’s a relatively small price to pay.

A newspaper such as this one must print what is happening in our community, state, country and world, whether we like it or not. It’s our job to pass this information on to you, the reader. It’s not biased information — it’s what is really happening.

If you don’t like what is happening, don’t stop reading your newspaper, your source of what is truly happening — get out there and change what’s happening. Become a part of the great awakening.

You can then read about it in your local newspaper. That’s what a growing number of people are doing.

A Daily Mining Gazette editorial