Op/Ed

Editorial: Grateful in the midst of chaos?

In this midst of this nation’s worse pandemic in a 100 years, following four years of mayhem wrought by an unhinged president hell-bent on destroying America’s democratic principles, and faced with economic, social and environmental challenges and uncertainties left in the wake or irresponsible Republican policies, is it possible to feel grateful this holiday season?
Yes it is. 
We’re grateful that Americans from all sides participated in records numbers in the 2020 election and rejected Trump’s campaign that was based on the premise that he could spread falsehoods, lies, fear and discord to rule this country. We celebrate that enough Americans could see the danger to democracy he represented and elect Joe Biden as the next president.
We’re grateful, too, that while far too many U.S. Senate Republicans shamed themselves by allowing Trump to create distrust in our election system and showed how spineless they have become in his presence, that election officials at state and county levels throughout the country — Republican or Democrat — stood up to the president, refuted his claims of election fraud, and conducted themselves with honor to protect the sanctity of each person’s vote. They were truly the front-line heroes of this election.
We’re grateful that the nation’s populace was patient enough to stay calm through rough waters, trusting that the process in place would be respected and the accurate vote count would prevail. 
We’re grateful that truth and fact prevailed over obvious lies and falsehoods.
We’re optimistic that once Trump’s siren song is muted, a majority of his followers will come to realize what they had once believed as truth were lies. And we fervently hope those so duped will connect that deceit to the rightwing news shows that were spigots of propaganda, not honest purveyors of journalistic reporting.
Closer to home, we’re grateful for statewide and local elections that were civil, honest and yielded outcomes that bode well for the state, county and area towns. We’re blessed to have honest and truthful representatives and government officials who are willing to serve with integrity. No system is perfect, but Vermont’s representation in Montpelier is a shining example of honest and forthright government trying its best to make progress. 
On the macro level, look around you and find so much in which to be grateful. We live in a beautiful state, in a wondrous county in which the collective republic united in respect for each other’s safety to wear masks, social distance and conduct their lives responsibly to limit the virus’s spread. Few states, counties or towns can say as much.
Drill even deeper and find more miraculous stories. Just in today’s Addison Independent, we learn that town road departments throughout Addison County are teaming up to cover potential pandemic-related illnesses that might prevent some town crews from being able to plow roads during the worst of our winter storms. That’s thinking ahead, sharing resources, and being able to work together without a worry about cost. It’s been an informal agreement between crews for years, the story reports, but this year maybe it should be put in writing. Whatever works for them, we just appreciate the work the town road crews do, and that they cover for each other makes it all the more exceptional.
We note the story of Mount Abe sophomore Brigette Moralez-Giron raising the Black Lives Matter flag at that school, and are grateful students and schools are embracing the issue, challenging a racist past and seeking understanding.
We read with amazement of the impact mentor Joann Jarvis had on Mt. Abe student Justice Green through 10 years of friendship. The program, MAUSD Mentors, is 15 years old and currently has 85 community volunteers. Think of that. Eighty-odd students being mentored each year for the past decade and a half represents a lot of good will created, and much to be grateful for.
Columnist Karl Lindholm tells a story of college athletes, denied game time for field hockey and football, but still intent in their practice sessions, devoted to their teammates and still champs. The spirit was captured in this quote from a senior leader: “Football isn’t about the obstacles you face, but who you become as you work to overcome them.” If you don’t typically read the sports section, at least read the sports columns starting with Karl’s today. 
I’m grateful as an editor/publisher of this newspaper that we have such talented writers to tell the stories of Addison County, and an excellent team to produce the news daily online and weekly in print, and that I get to ride on their coattails.
Happy Thanksgiving from all of us to all of you.
Angelo Lynn 

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