Limerick: In the social media age, voices carry

I know that some of you readers are, like me, Patty Limerick and Center of the American West fans and you probably don’t get the Denver Post so..

Here is the link and below is an excerpt:

Having lived in Colorado for almost 30 years, I am both pleased and unsettled by the way that this super-sized state duplicates the “echo chamber” workings of a small town.

Here’s a recent example. On Aug. 6, around 2:30 p.m., I responded to a question from the audience at the Rocky Mountain Energy Summit, the annual meeting of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association. The questioner spoke critically of a recent chain of events in which my congressman, Jared Polis, challenged the arrival of a drilling rig in proximity to his rural second home.

Trying to moderate to the intensely critical stance of the questioner, I said that, in my opinion, Congressman Polis had been trying to use his prominent and visible position to call attention to a situation that troubled a number of his constituents. I said that I did not think that his first step — filing a lawsuit — was necessarily the wisest way to achieve this goal. And then I said that I thought it would be a good idea for the association to invite Polis to join us to this conference.

Less than three hours passed before Polis sent me an e-mail. If I had indeed invited him to the conference, he told me, he would try to fit this into his schedule.

When I made my statement, on Aug. 6, to a room occupied by several hundred people, it never occurred to me that I was also addressing the congressman and maybe thousands of others, as information rippled out of the Colorado Convention Center and into the “small town” called Colorado.

Polis’ response to my invitation forcefully reacquainted me with the key lesson of my small-town childhood: Do not forget that your voice carries.

I bet many of our states are like this.

Leave a Comment