Editorial: What did we learn in a surreal 2016?

Looks like we made another successful trip around the sun. Seems like it was touch and go for a while there, but here we are welcoming 2017 and bidding a hasty adieu to a 2016 that behaved like a juvenile delinquent from January through December.

What did we learn about us in 2016? Time will tell, but I think 2016 will go down as the year America had this huge fight.

2016 will be remembered as the year America stared at the mirror and hated what it saw. The year we realized, with a shock, just how divided we are. Fundamentally, diametrically, maliciously divided.

History will show both sides were wrong. And both sides were right. But more than anything, history will show 2016 was the year America decided it would no longer agree to disagree with anyone. Over any issue. Ever again.

It was the year we became so sensitive – even the people who criticize sensitive people for being so sensitive are overly sensitive.

And it was the year the truth no longer mattered.

Fake news. There is no such thing as fake news. Like jumbo shrimp, this is an oxymoron. Let’s call it what it is: BS. That there are people who spread BS – and get paid well for it – is one thing. But that millions of people believe them and further spread the BS so thick it looks like icing on a glutton’s cake is incredible.

The more outlandish they are, the more traction these stories get. We get letters to the editor repeating these lies all the time. Every internet news site in the world, real and BS, posts comments written by people who spread the truth occasionally, and falsehoods consistently.

The future. Like people, societies can evolve from one year to the next. America is at a dangerous crossroads at the dawn of 2017. Will we make the proper attitude adjustments or will we all be too proud? Will we try to see where the other guy is coming from, or stew with our arms crossed in tortured, stubborn silence?

Kingman is fairly immune to the rancor going on elsewhere. Mohave County is one of the most conservative counties in a conservative state and Kingman is probably the most conservative city in the state. Three of four voters is a Republican.

Virtually every elected official in a partisan office is a Republican. The Kingman City Council is nonpartisan, but there are no Bernie Sanders supporters sitting on the dais.

While the future is cloudy as fog for the rest of the country, now would be a good time for Kingman’s political class to take advantage of its rare solidarity. With so many like-minded individuals in office, seems to me we could get a lot of work done in 2017.

What would you like to see them focus on? Roads? Flood control? Water conservation? Infrastructure?

Let’s take a look.

Clearly, the county and every city in the county has an issue with roads. Kingman is certainly no exception and is probably the worst.

If the weather forecasters were correct, two more storms just rolled through Kingman. We should do what we can to not only improve drainage – Bank Street is the Bank River – we should also engineer a way to recapture rainwater, which leads us to … water conservation.

The county and cities can and should take steps to conserve as much water as possible, and this includes limiting residential use for landscaping. If we want the state to take seriously our fears of rapidly shrinking water resources, we should police ourselves first.

Kingman Crossing is in the city council’s crosshairs. Let us hope this study they’ve commissioned offers a realistic take on brick and mortar retail shops as a business model.

They might work in Scottsdale where there’s plenty of people and money, but that could be a tougher sell in Kingman, no pun intended, where there isn’t a whole lot of either.

I’m not suggesting the council should give up on Kingman Crossing. I am suggesting they proceed slowly and with great deliberation.

Here’s to a happy and healing 2017.