It is the one-year anniversary of the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol. Watching the scenes unfold that day seemed so detached from our vision about how democracy is supposed to work. At The Bedford Citizen, for the most part, we try to focus on local issues, but the 2021 insurrection motivated us to write our first editorial:
A Message of Deep Concern from The Bedford Citizen
Although The Bedford Citizen does not ordinarily comment on events happening outside of Bedford, we, the Editorial Committee, feel compelled to express our shock and dismay at the threat to our democracy witnessed at the US Capitol yesterday.
Whatever your political views, and we respect and acknowledge a range of opinions among our readers, we hope you will join us in condemning the mob violence that threatens our democratic institutions. How can we teach our children to uphold the rule of law when the very heart of our government was held hostage yesterday?
What we wrote still resonates, and although the threat to our democracy still exists, for the time being, we want to step back and concern ourselves with how we got there and what role The Bedford Citizen and we as individuals play in nurturing our fragile democracy.
No matter what anyone’s politics might be, I think we can all agree that we are living in a world with competing narratives.
As a news organization, The Bedford Citizen is committed to a vision of a shared reality based on verifiable facts. Granted, facts about a town the size of Bedford are often easier to confirm than facts about national or global issues that go beyond our scope. But the insurrection of January 6 was a warning to all of us about the danger of letting counterfactual narratives go unchallenged.
We challenge ourselves, all of us, to get involved, to understand what is real and what is a rumor. One of the easiest ways to understand how things work is to get involved with the system. Understanding local government and taking an active part in it is one way, whether volunteering, or running for office, or just attending town meetings, getting involved strengthens the democratic system as a whole. We are fortunate here in Bedford. Every citizen should be grateful for the many Town officials from poll workers to the Select Board who conscientiously work to support our democratic proceedings.
Encouraging involvement and dialog is a key to both a functioning democracy as well as a community. We at The Bedford Citizen will continue to inform citizens by providing factual, unbiased news on the local level, with integrity.