I was contacted by a reader who was not happy that we had printed a letter to the editor that was obviously “wrong” and that, while we certainly should generally offer both points of view, publishing a point of view so obviously wrong was not acceptable in her opinion. The letter was from an obviously well-educated person who took exception to the Kentucky clerk being required to issue marriage certificates to gay couples. His point was a state’s right position and he held that the clerk had every right to not issue certificates even though the Supreme Court ruled it was the law of the land. The reader who called to complain then told me how biased we were at the newspaper. I agreed with her that the letter writer was obviously wrong and the Supreme Court ruling had to be honored. But I also told her I was sure that the person who wrote the letter to the editor believed he was completely correct and who was I to judge.
Then today I saw a letter in the Revue & News from someone who was responding to my column on Trump. He shared that the column was a disaster and that nothing said was correct – and he wanted to go point-by-point for my “23 points” and correct each and every one. Plus he said we were such a biased newspaper anyway. Really, the point of my column was that the reason Trump is leading the field for the Republican nomination was that people are so fed up with a government that does not get anything done other than attack the other party – both Democrats and Republicans. There is a very simple reason that the two front-runners in the Republican primary do not hold office. This week’s letter writer went on to say all the problems in Congress are Obama’s and the Democrat’s fault and that “compromise” wasn’t necessarily a good thing. I wanted to point out that it takes both parties to govern so, no, it couldn’t be just one side’s fault. The very act of assigning blame to only one party not only is consistent with what is terribly broken with our Congress but also destroys any possible credibility of the letter writer. That my primary point is supported by poll after poll that show both parties at historical low approval ratings – especially the Republican party – I am sure is an inconvenient fact that the letter writer would like to, and in fact does, ignore.
I think that the writing on the wall is clear. The American people are done with business as usual from Congress. They are done with politicians in both parties who put party as well as their own personal political well-being ahead of country. They are done with numbskulls in Congress who tell us that we are not causing global warming and basically destroying the very environment that we live in. They are done with billionaires trying to buy elections. They are done with a Congress that votes down party lines on such vital issues as nuclear treaties and defense, and they are done with a Congress that too often protects big business at the expense of you and me – the middle class and the poor. The American people are done with fossil fuels. They see where our dependence on dirty energy is taking us and they want renewable energy. What part of that is ambiguous?
So, yes, I guess we must be doing something right because we are being criticized from both ends of the political spectrum. We’re being accused of being biased because we’re willing to write about both sides of the equation instead of blindly supporting only one side and twisting the facts and distorting them to try to justify the point of view. Unfortunately, we live in a world of “if you’re not with us, you’re against us,” but it didn’t used to be that way and this failed logic and behavior is rapidly losing credence with voters, as we see today. The whole deal with Trump is so clear to me: It is a wake-up call to all elected officials to get their act together, learn to work together as a governing body and get good work done or be removed from office. And if you don’t get that yet, watch Mr. Trump and how he does. That should spell it out for you.