Our media – especially our social media – seem to be fueled largely by negatives. Of course, this is understandable, as fear, hatred, outrage, anxiety and dread are the substrates for emotional commitment to causes and campaigns. Still, recent editions of the DNT have seemed to be over the top, with too many hate-inspired opinion pieces and letters.

Perhaps we can find some positives that we (generally) agree upon? Here are a few candidates:

  1. Afghanistan – Three presidents have decried our involvement in Afghanistan, three administrations have lied about our “winning” in Afghanistan, and now, after the longest war in American history, we are finally out of Afghanistan. That is something to celebrate!

  2. Elections – Our electoral system has been criticized, doubted, tried and examined. After the most exacting scrutiny in our history, we have verified that our elections are fair, honest and free of fraud. We certainly all can celebrate that!

  3. Response to COVID – Despite massive disinformation and misinformation, we – as a nation and a world public health community – have pulled together and responded sensibly. We have produced and distributed vaccines, we have accepted the inconveniences of masks and reduced social contacts with a degree of grace and humor. Of course, there is dissent, as one would expect in any complex endeavor, but the consensus is that we are all in this together and we will flourish together.

  4. Science and medicine – Despite conspiracy theories and opportunistic media personalities, our scientific and medical industries have triumphed. They have performed heroically: with life-saving breakthroughs; with clear, reliable and useful information; and with tireless commitment to service. We can be proud and grateful.

Overall, we have a lot to celebrate and be proud of. We just have to look beyond the negativity and angst of our editorial pages.

Charles Gessert

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