Commentary: Seeing with 2020 vision

I’ve been trying to write this since June but kept holding back for a number of reasons, perhaps a last vestige of hope that we wouldn’t be heading for this coming showdown and its perhaps quite unpleasant future unknowns, but essentially little has changed in our national discord’s trajectory since then, and now our political divisions have come home to roost, in fact they’ve really become dangerously apparent across the U.S. in these final days of countdown to this particularly fateful November 3.

So this is how history is made, made of every day, every little thing combined that eventually adds up to matters of huge consequence, albeit in some instances things which appear to have suddenly built to a critical mass overnight have actually been happening all along, unobserved in their metastasizing magnitude as a thing actually built upon decades of domestic discord.

So here we are. And here it is. A sense of national divisions and frustrations coupled with a gamut of emotions, ranging from actual hope and belief in your choice of a presidential aspirant who promises to you a better outcome for these next four years, to sadly enough, nothing more than a base desire for cynical revenge for your candidate to visit upon on a perceived political opponent. 

I tend to look at things quite differently than either of those above reasons for making a choice for a given end result, in fact, I dispute that either of those reasons really matters here in Cordova when our miniscule votes are counted in the race for the White House. Especially when it comes to the amount of potential vitriol that could be generated in this community over events largely beyond any power we have over those events. I’m saying if it brings out the worst in some of us, then it ain’t worth it.

My point being is what is ultimately most important for us is to preserve our sense of community in what could be perilous times ahead. We are in a unique place in this signal moment of time in United States history and considering the uncertainties we’ve faced since the ferry was shut down last September, to the coming of COVID-19, let’s hope and work on holding it together if events in the Lower 48 spiral out of control.

My advice is to hold your tongue, think before engaging in inflammatory verbal fisticuffs that require but a spark to go to the next level. I’ve seen things on so-called ‘social’ media that can only be defined as anti-social too many times already. Think community, think of it as family extended. It’s only us here, what happens in the larger world should be among our priorities, but I believe Cordova should come first. It’s the one place — home — we can actually personally do something about. Let’s do it.


David Otness is a retired commercial fisherman and merchant mariner, a 70-year Alaskan with closing in on 14 years as a Cordova and now Sunset View Apartments resident.