Opinions

Wed
16
Sep
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Democracy Requires A Loyal Opposition

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

There is an old concept in politics called the “loyal opposition.” The party that is out of power is not seen as the enemy but recognized as made up of fellow citizens with a different point of view when it comes to governing. They share common goals with the  opposing party but see different paths for attaining them.

The role of the “loyal opposition” is to keep the party in power from overreaching and taking the country, state, or other units of government too far in one direction or the other. The majority party consults the leaders of the opposition party, allowing their input, as they craft legislation.
That’s not true anymore. Now the differences between the parties is a chasm. The span so great that compromise cannot bridge it.

Wed
09
Sep
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We Need Peterson’s Influential Voice In D.C.

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Perhaps the most common complaint we hear about Congress today is how bitterly divided it is. Democrats and Republicans don’t socialize anymore. They don’t have friends across the aisle like they once did – friendships that  helped them respect one another and negotiate important legislation together.

Now the vast majority are in lockstep with their parties on voting with few crossing over to vote principal over party.

Not all members of Congress are this way but those who genuinely are respected on both sides of the aisle are hardly more than a handful. U.S. 7th District Rep. Collin Peterson is one of those few.

Wed
02
Sep
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We Decide If We Are Census Winners or Losers

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

There is now less than a month for every Minnesotan to be counted in the 2020 Census. Failure by communities, counties and states to urge their citizens to fill out their census forms will have a deep impact on the future of the services they are able to offer. Failure will mean a loss of representation at the Legislature in St. Paul for rural Minnesota and in the halls of the U.S. House of Representatives. Minnesota would lose votes in the Electoral College.

Wed
26
Aug
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Our Cooperation Is Rooted In A Common Story

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

“One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” They are the concluding words of the Pledge of Allegiance. They are a myth.

“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” Emma Lazarus’ poem on the Statue of Liberty reads. There are those who would scratch out those words and replace them with “stay out.”

“We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal,” the Declaration of Independence reads - it is an unfulfilled promise.

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution of the United States of America.” We are still struggling to form that “more perfect union.”

Wed
19
Aug
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We Must Ensure All Ballots Are Counted

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

A record 77 percent of Americans could vote by mail in this year’s general election as they try to stay healthy during the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. As many as 80 million ballots could be mailed in this fall, twice as many as in the 2016 presidential election year.

The expected surge in mail-in voting is causing election officials to warn of major problems in getting ballots delivered by the U.S. Postal Service and counted by election officials. Democrats see this logistics problem being compounded by the Trump Administration’s unsubstantiated claims that mail-in voting will lead to massive voter fraud in the Nov. 3 election.

Wed
05
Aug
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Keeping Economy, Schools Open Requires Masks

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

We are seeing a lesson unfold with the attempt to complete a 60-game Major League Baseball season during the COVID-19 pandemic. Its success depends on players’ discipline when outside the ballpark, respect for teammates, and thought about how important their continued shortened season is to Americans looking for escape from the oppressing consequences of a deadly pandemic.

Two teams have already failed this test. The Miami Marlins season was interrupted when 18 players and two coaches tested positive. Now the St. Louis Cardinals have been idled due to four players testing positive for the coronavirus.

Wed
29
Jul
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Good Government Demands Citizen Participation

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Among the essential characteristics that define a healthy community is active citizen participation in local government. That characteristic is complimented by local elected officials who seek out and respect citizen input to ensure their decisions are representative of the community’s will.

Not all decisions are easy to make. Some, in fact, are divisive and acrimonious. It is during these times that the quality of the elected officials are tested. Too often, those elected officials fail the test. Rather than taking the heat from citizens  and then explaining why their decision moves the community where it needs to go,  they hide behind closed doors.

Wed
22
Jul
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Twitter And Social Media’s Unreliability

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Twitter was hacked July 15.
It’s old news already in our society with its limited attention span and lack of any real concern for what happens on the internet. It’s an intangible thing that can’t be felt physically so it lacks a degree of reality. But this attack on the security and sanctity of Twitter’s trust worthiness could come back to haunt us in the days before the Nov. 3 general election.

President Barack Obama’s Twitter account was taken over. So was that of former Vice President and now presidential candidate Joe Biden.  Billionaire and former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Tesla CEO Elon Musk had their Twitter accounts hijacked. Each of these accounts has millions of followers.

It was considered one of the most severe attacks on the security of an internet social media company in years.

Wed
15
Jul
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What If Newspapers Had Prevented Printing?

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

When the 2019 planting season was getting underway the rains wouldn’t stop. Falling on already saturated ground, the incessant rains flooded fields. Farmers couldn’t till the land much less plant seed.

Not growing a crop didn’t mean they weren’t going to get paid. Through the USDA’s Prevented Planting program, farmers received compensation for those unplanted acres.

Community newspapers are in a devastating drought, one so severe it is forcing publishers off the nation’s landscape leaving rural communities a barren information wasteland. We believe there is a solution to help America’s community newspapers based on this USDA program that could be administered through the department’s rural development division. We’d call it a “Prevented Printing” program. First let’s look why such a program is crucial today.

A King of the Hill world

Wed
08
Jul
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Masks Will Help Keep Minnesota Open

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

While  states through the South, along with California, are having to shut down parts of their economies, societies, and potentially schools, Minnesota has a proven way it can significantly enhance its chances of staying open – wearing masks. We would bet there are a few states where they wish they would have been more respectful of that advice.

In a statewide order July 2, Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott is requiring those living in counties with more than 20 COVID-19 cases to wear a mask while in business or public places, with several exceptions. He also said he might be rethinking the opening of schools if the number of cases continues to rise.

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