Letters: Political polarization in America is disturbing
October 11, 2018
The extreme polarization of politics in today's world is disturbing. Why? Antagonistic polarization will be the death of compromise. Democracies are built on compromise.
Angry partisan speech does not seem to be limited to one political party or ideology. Dr. Fairs, a liberal associate professor at Georgetown University, recently tweeted the following in response to the Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination debacle: "Look at the chorus of entitled white men justifying a serial rapist's arrogated entitlement. All of them deserve miserable deaths while feminists laugh as they take their last gasps. Bonus: we castrate their corpses and feed them to swine? Yes." And, we need only look to our President, to see the anger from the conservative point of view. Trump has called Democrats "un-American" and "treasonous" among other things during his presidency thus far.
Who is afraid to bring up politics amongst friends? I am. In my liberal-biased community, I am afraid to speak up in groupthink situations. All of a sudden I am labeled as someone's conservative friend as if this is an oddity or disgrace. This is sad, indeed, especially since I tend to be moderate in my political thinking. I am absolutely sure the reverse is also true in conservatively biased communities. 58 percent of Americans believe the political climate today prevents them from saying things they believe (Cato Institute 2017).
How is our government meant to function successfully without the ability to see the other side? Mind you, this trend did not start with Trump. Trump has clearly exacerbated this polarization, but it started before him as evidenced by the fall back on Executive Order style government in the Obama administration.
Let us try to hear and understand each other. Let us not be easily offended. Let us argue and debate with a shake of the hands afterwards. Let us not jump to conclusions about a person based on their political affiliation. To borrow from Carly Rae Jepsen, "This is crazy." We need to get over ourselves.
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Fitlow is deserving
Vicky Fitlow would like to do one thing: help every one of our Park City children get the best education possible. She is running for the Park City School District Board of Education, in District 4; the seat to be vacated when J.J. Ehlers' current term concludes this year.
Our school board representatives are elected by geographical districts, but they represent all of us. I cannot vote for Vicky, as I live in District 3, but I want her to represent me on the board. Vicky Fitlow would be an exceptional fit on the current school board. She is well-versed in governance — from the proper procedure for meetings and decision-making, to the scope of responsibility that lies with the board. It is not possible to make legal, binding decisions regarding the use of taxpayer dollars, even with the best intentions, without proper procedures in place. Vicky knows the rules, knows how to efficiently be part of and lead a school board, and importantly, as an attorney, understands the law.
Vicky's children currently attend both Treasure Mountain Junior High School and Weilenmann School of Discovery (a public charter school). She has demonstrated a commitment to education in the community by serving on both the PTSO and Board of Directors at WSD, including one year as Board Chair. She has also served on committees for the Park City School District, investing her time in the Start Times Committee. Vicky bases her opinions on evidence, fiscal responsibility, and the best interests of student learning.
Please take a few minutes to look at Vicky's website at http://www.fitlow4education.com or her Facebook page at facebook.com/ElectVickyFitlow and read about her endeavors to improve our kids' education. I strongly believe Vicky Fitlow would make an excellent addition to the PCSD school board. Important decisions lie ahead that will shape the future of our school district: Vicky Fitlow can help the school board govern and lead every one of our students to achieve their goals.
On Friday Sept. 28, McPolin Elementary held our annual Fall Festival with amazing results. With more than 500 festival goers in attendance, we felt the overwhelming support of the community for our children, teachers and staff. Thank you to the over 150 local businesses and individuals (including teachers!) who donated items to our silent auction and to the more than 40 volunteers who smiled and sweated through it all to make the event a reality. This year we need to give special honors to Leslie Demkowitz and Laura Rojas who chaired our event and the silent auction. Without these talented women at the helm, our festival would not have happened! The feeling last Friday at the event was one of happiness and pure fun which was our real goal for the day. We sincerely appreciate all of the contributions our community has made. McPolin Elementary loves Park City!!
Brooke Hontz, Keren Mazanac, John Mazanac and Laura Rojas
We live in a very unique community where people come together and support our kids whether it's in academic or athletic programs. We wanted to send out a public thank you to the faculty and staff in the Park City School District, PCSD Board of Education and PCHS Athletic Department for supporting a healthy relationship with The Winter Sports School. Our family truly appreciates that fact that WSS students can participate on the high school sports teams as well as attend social events that the school organizes. Thank you for being so inclusive and allowing our kids to spend time with their friends within our community. It means a lot to us and the WSS community.
Amy and Dan Macuga
A tireless worker
I have known Vicky Fitlow for many years now as a great friend and a great advocate for our students' education. She has three awesome daughters, one a current freshman, and two who are upcoming for PCHS. She has worked hard for years attending PCSD Board meetings and on PCSD committees to improve programs for our students. She has outstanding Board experience as Chair of the Weilenmann School Board and has volunteered for many Boards and community organizations. She is smart, knows governance issues extremely well, is an attorney who makes good fiscal decisions, and shows up as a staunch advocate for our children. Vicky will hit the ground running as she has attended most school board meetings for the past three years and is well aware of ongoing budget concerns, board training issues and others. She is a tireless worker on behalf of students in our district. Please help me support Vicky for School Board this November!
From swamp to cesspool
Trump and the REPUBLICANS as the collaborators are working hand in hand to change this country. The government is being dismantled department by department. The State Department has been gutted, the EPA is changing requirements, so cronies of Trump can continue to pollute the air and make lots of money (the fossil fuel industry to name one). The swamp is now a cesspool with crooks abounding as the country is dismantled. The Republican tax law was for the rich, the elite and powerful. The average American's health care the Republicans do not care. There is a new tent city in Texas with 1,600 migrant children. The Supreme Court will have a Republican who is disrespectful and shows his lack of anger control, who tells small lies how many other lies have been told to the Senate as Brett Kavanaugh (one of the special people) is confirmed to the highest court. The journalists are trying to investigate and the lies by President Trump are insurmountable as he discredits the journalists and treats women with disrespect. Americans will wake up one morning and wonder what happened to America. I believe it is not too late to VOTE for individuals that care about people and not the party line. There is data that is being used to make money by the crooks yes in Washington DC. Abuse of power is ramped. It was one of these data bases that pointed out the OPIOID situation. Wake up America this could be the next Russia or the next country run by YES a dictator. How did Nazi Germany happen?
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You haven't seen anything yet
I've been reading with interest the editorial page of the Park Record as residents decide how to vote on the Treasure Bond. I've read many thoughtful opinions, pro and con, and a few rants, but wanted to add the voice of someone who is just a regular middle-class person with an apartment on Lowell Avenue. My husband and I, retirees in our 70s, do not fit Mr. Haggerty's characterization of "wealthy upper Old Town residents" who are anti-development for our own selfish ends. We spent our career years in Logan, Utah, and bought our apartment 15 years ago with a plan to spend our retirement as the ski bums we've always aspired to be, in a beautiful Utah ski town, with access to the mountain virtually out our front door. Another guest editorial questioned whether or not Park City is really a mountain town anymore, given the seemingly out-of-control growth the city has seen in recent years. Believe me, you haven't seen anything yet! Treasure is the worst possible example of out-of-control growth ever conceived. And it's not just those of us on Lowell Avenue who will be negatively impacted. The whole character of our beautiful valley will be irreversibly changed. Those of us of moderate means will be priced out of living here, just like what has happened in other ski towns in the west, such as Breckenridge or Vail. Their streets are clogged and impassable, the scenery is ruined by looming skyscrapers and sprawling condo developments, access to the mountain for skiing and hiking is cordoned off for the privileged few, and so on. And the price of the bond to stop this boondoggle from happening in Park City is no more than a cup of Starbucks coffee a week per resident! As you fill out your ballot, consider first the quality of life that brought you to Park City to begin with. That is what is at risk and that is what a vote for the open space bond will help preserve.
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