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Know the West

We need solutions, not divisiveness

  Looking at the opinions and positions of the writers in HCN, it’s clear that many don’t have the same ambivalence that I have.

I grew up in the country of southwestern Pennsylvania and enjoyed it immensely. Always a rebel, I was pro-McGovern and anti-Nixon, and gradually became a Reagan Republican, ever retaining my love for the woods. Now I’m a father of three, live in the West, and can’t ever seem to discern a "black or white" in the multitude of issues bearing down on the land and people of this part of the country. I’m pro-growth and pro-green space. I’m pro-Bush and deeply concerned about how the continuing influx of people into the West affects its unique attributes, resources and various ways of life.

My point is that actually resolving issues that face us all is harder when we create divisiveness and point fingers (for example, at "corporate America") than it is when we build grassroots coalitions and resolve things at the most local levels. That means getting involved and having a stake. It also means being informed and truly appreciating the perspectives of those who don’t hold our views.

In my opinion, the paper should provide all responsible perspectives relating to life in the high country. I know we all can’t just get along, but we can take a view of how we might like to see this part of the country 20, 30 or 40 years hence from the eyes of our children, as well as how we get by and get along in the intervening years.

Jim R. Smith
Colorado Springs, Colorado