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We’re Fighting for the Same Thing

by Sabrina Hornung | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Editorial | April 22nd, 2021

By Sabrina Hornung

sabrina@hpr1.com

Our opinion: Let’s work together instead of against each other.



Think of where we are now in comparison to last year, think of what we’ve learned since and how this is affecting our futures... For example, now that we’ve seen what we can do and how we can support ourselves from the comforts of our own homes. Does this mean that more people can and will be working remotely? This being said, will office walls and cubicles become a thing of the past after a year untethered? Will we see an influx of people moving to rural areas? I sure hope so-- there’s more than enough room to grow both gardens and communities.

During this plague year I’ve been embracing my country mouse whiskers. I’ve been working for a couple of newspapers in a rural area and I’ve come to better understand the challenges rural Americans are facing. Whether it be food cost and accessibility, waste disposal, healthcare or even finding able bodies to contribute to the local workforce as the population ages out. One of the greatest fears I’ve encountered is the fear the locals have of their communities dying.

I’ve stood outside a central North Dakota Cenex fueling my vehicle on a still and sleepy Saturday night after hearing of how it once bustled. Sadly, change is inevitable whether we like it or not. As youths trade in the northern lights for city lights and industries abandon these areas local infrastructure starts to crumble and suddenly there’s more tumbleweeds than people rolling down the main drag.

It's not hard to see how folks in these areas have become disillusioned with government. They’ve been left behind and they’ve been forgotten and as Ag producing societies, they’re irreplaceable--and they know that.

One of the most disheartening things about the pandemic thus far, is how politically weaponized it has become, whether it involves wearing masks, getting vaccinated, or even acknowledging whether or not a illness that has resulted in 536,000 deaths in the US (which is approximately ⅔ of the population of North Dakota.) even exists.

I think about these things quite a bit, especially when I’m looked at side eyed or distatefully for working in the “news media.” The phrase makes me cringe to think of the distrust perpetuated by certain biased news sources has trickled down toward a distaste for local journalism for some. A journalist's job isn’t to interject their opinion in their reporting unless it’s an editorial, ie an opinion piece such as this one.

For the record it doesn’t matter which presidential candidate I voted for,that has nothing to do with our coverage of the County Commission meeting or the school board for that matter. No our county paper didn’t cover Trump’s CPAC speech-- why? Because he wasn’t anywhere near the county I work in or the state we live in.

There’s more important garbage to cover--like what will the city do with their garbage after being given a week's notice that the landfill was to close and which landfill will it be hauled to within a 100 mile radius, how much more will it cost, and can the old garbage truck stand to have that many miles put on it before it needs to be replaced?

The gross spread of misinformation and use of fear tactics is the greatest legacy and disservice the previous administration left behind. By attacking and manipulating the core values of family, faith and country they cut to the core of the very things that most Americans hold dear, whether their families have been here for 250 years or 15 minutes, whether they’re Christian or non Christian or how traditional or non-traditional their families are. No matter what, we must not let our core values be held hostage by political divisiveness because after all, I think we all strive for the same thing-- life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. At least that’s one part of the constitution that holds up since its inception. Maybe it’s time to focus on our similarities rather than focus on our differences and stop acting like crabs in a bucket.

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