What — who — can explain the success of Mary Peltola? How has she won the hearts of Alaskans of every persuasion, even her opponents? At face value, she is charmingly photogenic — yes, a shameless pun. Is it her sincere trust in being inclusive and welcoming? Can it be her failure to demonize opponents?
Is it her ability to project a person who is genuinely grounded in her beliefs, and certain of the work to be done? Only a cynic would respond that she is sincerely optimistic in her naïveté that is irresistibly hopeful.
Is that it, then? Is she the epitome of our hopes? Hope that our better selves can prevail, can set aside resentments and blind adherence to political tribalism, pettiness and falsehoods? Hope that we can reach across the divide and extend hand and heart to our neighbors, friends and loved ones, regardless of the past? Hope that we can accept and treat each other with dignity and respect and return to a gentler Alaska, trusting in the innate goodness of even those with whom we disagree?
— Pam McCarl
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