Tune out the noise

  • Saturday, July 23, 2016 7:46pm
  • Opinion

It’s been a raucous week in national politics as rhetoric at the Republican National Convention reached a new level of vitriol. And we expect to hear more next week, as the Democratic Party will have its opportunity to offer a rebuttal.

Convention speakers were long on fear-mongering and finger-pointing, but offered very little in the way of solutions to the exaggerated crises they described. And it’s hard to fathom a speaker getting booed for telling Americans to “vote your conscience.”

Unfortunately, we expect the discourse to get even nastier between now and Nov. 8.

There’s not much we can do to steer the national political debate, but we do have the opportunity to maintain a civil discourse in our local political debates. In fact, the three candidates who attended last week’s U.S. Senate forum hosted by the Kenai and Soldotna Chambers of Commerce provided a good example of how to disagree with an idea in a civil manner.

Quite frankly, it is crucial that candidates — and the voters who will be asked to elect them — be able to debate issues as openly and as honestly as possible over the next few months, and refrain from the histrionics that have marked recent election cycles.

The state of Alaska is facing an unprecedented fiscal crisis, and choices made by the Legislature during the recent regular, extended and special sessions will leave the next Legislature with fewer options to address the situation.

A serious discussion of those options is crucial. Already, there is plenty of noise to cut through as various individuals and organizations scream about a raid on the Alaska Permanent Fund or call for impeachment of Gov. Bill Walker over his vetoes. Such antics do little, if anything, to solve the problem. Likewise, blaming one party or the other is of little use — there’s enough blame to go around for everyone, including Alaskans who have steadfastly refused to believe that there is a problem at all.

Candidates from the Kenai Peninsula running for state office have a wide range of views, and differing ideas on how to make government sustainable. We hope the debate continues to focus on those ideas, and how they might be implemented, as we head into the primary and general elections.

Finding a solution to Alaska’s fiscal crisis is far too important to leave to whoever can simply make the most noise.

More in Opinion

The official ballot for the Aug. 16, 2022, Special General Election features ranked choice voting. (State of Alaska Division of Elections)
Voices of the Peninsula: Check out the ballot before you vote

This kind of ballot is not something you have seen before.

Former Gov. Bill Walker, right, and his running mate former commissioner of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development Heidi Drygas, speak to Juneauites gathered for a fundraiser at a private home in Juneau on Tuesday, June 7, 2022. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: Why I’m voting for Walker

Walker is the only candidate with the potential to govern effectively for all Alaskans.

Nick Begich III campaign materials sit on tables ahead of a May 16 GOP debate held in Juneau. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: Nick Begich is who Alaska and America need now

It is in Alaska’s best interest to elect a member of the Republican party

State Sen. Josh Revak (Photo provided)
The time has come to end Big Tech’s rule

The hope is that the bipartisan American Innovation and Choice Online Act (S. 2992) will come to the Senate floor for a vote

Michael Heimbuch attends a memorial service for the late Drew Scalzi on Aug. 5, 2005, at the Seafarers Memorial on the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
Point of View: King salmon: The clash of culture and science

People do some pretty awful things to king salmon stocks

Lieutenant governor candidate Edie Grunwald speaks at a Charlie Pierce campaign event at Paradisos restaurant in Kenai on Saturday, March 5, 2022. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Election Integrity: An Alaskan question with an Alaskan answer

A needless round of feel-good meetings and what-if conversations will be a thing of the past

This photo shows the University of Alaska Southeast campus in Juneau. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: I’m a longtime educator, and I’m supporting Walker/Drygas

The issues our state faces are significant with regard to education.

Larry Persily (Peninsula Clarion file)
Opinion: Congress could keep health insurance costs from rising, but it has to act fast

The cost of health insurance will rise substantially next year for about 13 million Americans

The offical ballot for the Aug. 16, 2022, Special General Election features ranked choice voting. (State of Alaska Divison of Elections)
Opinion: Alaskans deserve an election system that represents our differences

The new system’s goal is to make this election cycle transparent, secure and easy for all Alaskans to vote

UAA Chancellor Sean Parnell (Courtesy)
Opinion: UAA’s career certificates are helping to fill Alaska’s workforce pipeline

At UAA, we are announcing a new suite of certificate programs responding to some of the state’s most critical needs

Opinion: Remaining vigilant after 30 years

Exxon Valdez spurred both federal and state legislatures, the industry, and the public to come together