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Letter from Editor vol1:3

Drawing the Line

In this issue of the Independent, we have stories that work to understand the distinct contrasts of mountain town politics.

At this point in the election cycle, it seems nearly crass to say that politics are divided in America. But this takes on a somewhat different meaning from our vantage point in the mountains. While our regions are, by broad statistical category, rural America and are impacted by issues typical of the West, ski towns appear as blue islands on the New York Times precinct-level map of 2016 voting data. So, in this issue of the Independent, we have stories that work to understand the distinct contrasts of mountain town politics.

 

Our goal is to step back from the conversation about whether there will be a blue wave or a show of Trumpist support in the Midterms, but to dig into the ways in which the national elections relate to the local issues we are deeply about.

 

Emma Murray explores a political fracture line distinct to rural America: not red versus blue, but motorized versus non-motorized.

 

I follow Seth Cagin as he tilts at windmills, running a classic, scrappy, door-to-door grassroots campaign as a Democrat in Colorado’s heavily Republican House District 38.

 

Samantha Wright charts the emergence of Indivisible D3, a movement that formed in reaction to the 2016 election.

 

Thomas Magstadt lays out an issue that effects us all: water.

 

And Mike Rogge, in an interview with Jeremy Jones, opines on the future of the outdoors in politics, hoping that some day, there might be a party that represents more directly the issues that we care about.

 

We hope, in the end to draw at least a bit of a line between national politics and their impact on our homes.

By Alec Jacobson

Alec Jacobson is the Executive Director of the Mountain Independent. He is also a National Geographic Young Explorer, and has worked around the world as a photographer and writer focusing on slow moving stories.