Vail Daily Editor Don Rogers: What makes US great |

Vail Daily Editor Don Rogers: What makes US great

Don Rogers
Vail, CO, Colorado

It seems I have a talent for dismaying people.

And I’m not just talking about the doghouse at home.

I play hard and clumsily enough that someone pretty much is always ready to kill me during noon basketball. My tongue is sharp and loose enough that a boss or colleague generally just wants to strangle me.

Yep, I seem to be that guy.

So it should be no surprise that feedback this week before the elections to what I’ve written about races and candidates has been, er, strongly felt.

The Democrats cannot fathom expressions of support for such as Senate candidate Ken Buck, the tea party-ish Republican. The conservatives are furious at any leaning toward those spendthrift Democratic candidates.

To each, I’m advocating the very ruination of America.

Alas, I’m one of those poor souls who strays over the line between parties and ideologies, not on either team entirely while seeing certain merits in the positions of both.

So I’m screwed, basically, in any courts of public opinion. There’s no credit for partial support. If you ain’t all wid us …

To top it off, another friend called me a sissy for being too polite in endorsement editorials in which I wrote kind words for all the candidates running for sheriff and county commissioner.

Ouch. But it’s true, I do have a soft spot for fellow citizens foolish enough to run for local office.

They expose themselves to lots of criticism, take on impossible time commitments and put themselves on the line in ways that nearly all of us can’t even fathom.

I admire them for having the guts to run. But you gotta pick your favorite, and so we do. You just don’t always have to be an ass about it.

Save that for the basketball court, or the newsroom, and hope like hell you got it out of your system before you get home. Kick the boss before the dog, I say.

What I do like about even biting criticism is the obvious thought and passion that people put into their arguments. You know, like elections and democracy actually matter.

There’s no Taliban or Chinese leadership or ayatollah to compel us to silence or quell our expression of views.

This is America, after all. Land of the free and home to those brave enough to say what they think.

So I celebrate my friends who speak up and give me hell. Whether we agree is utterly beside the point.

It’s the debate that makes our country great. It’s called citizenship.

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