Opinions

Wed
21
Oct
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Settling for Herd Immunity ‘Total Nonsense’

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

As many in America become increasingly impatient with social distancing, mask-wearing, bars and restaurants operating at reduced capacity, and postponements of weddings and funerals, some argue for letting the coronavirus run its course.

If we just get back to pre-COVID-19 life, we will create herd immunity to the virus, they say. Now, these same people have a supporter in the White House.

“Herd immunity occurs when a large portion of a community (the herd) becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely,” the Mayo Clinic says. “As a result, the whole community becomes protected — not just those who are immune.” Herd immunity creates enough dead ends for the virus that it can’t find another host.

Wed
14
Oct
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Who Is The Best Candidate For Your Children?

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

If there is one consequence of the current elections that will have long-term implications for all Americans in the coming years it is climate change. It doesn’t have to be a Republican or a Democratic issue, but humankind’s concern.

It is already having an impact on all life around the globe. The depth of those impacts will become more severe in the coming decades. It will mean more children dying of starvation. It will see more refugees fleeing coastal nations where sea rise has flooded their homes. It will mean more refugees fleeing drought-stricken nations seeking food and security, more shortages of water for drinking and irrigation, and more political instability in nations around the planet.

Generations of our descendants will live with the choices we make today, as individuals, as communities, and as a nation.

Wed
07
Oct
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Informed Electorate Is Democracy’s Foundation

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

An informed electorate is essential to the functioning of representative democracy. In small-town rural America, we hold those in power accountable through the reporting of our community newspapers. Citizens make informed decisions on tax levies, elections, bond sales, the quality of our schools and healthcare facilities, and our communities’ safety through the reporting of their local newspapers.

However, this fundamental underpinning of a democratic society is endangered.

To assess the growing threat and seek solutions, Sens. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Brian Schatz of Hawaii and Michael Bennet of Colorado introduced the “Future of Local News Commission Act” last month. While the three are democrats, support for community news comes from both sides of the aisles.

Wed
30
Sep
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Changing Electorate Will Have Impact On Elections

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

America is changing. We are becoming more diverse with each passing year and that diversity is going to start having an impact on elections. It’s a bitter thought for some who would hold on to America’s white, male dominated society of the past.

According to a recent Pew Research Center study, all 50 states in America saw their share of what are called non-Hispanic White eligible voters decline between 2000 and 2018. Ten states, in fact, saw their White eligible voter population fall by double digits. This change occurred because Hispanics are a growing percentage of their state populations and because they are getting older.

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.

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