The GOP has taken over Cleveland.
In a few weeks, the Democrats will take over Philadelphia.
Everyone is talking politics. In my private life, I do it, too.
But at the Inquirer, I try not to let my political beliefs get in the way of my work, of my efforts to be fair and balanced and unopinionated. Unlike most major news organizations — I can think of no exceptions — my goal is to keep political slants off the pages of the Inquirer.
NBC, MSNBC, FOX, CBS, ABC, USA Today, Gannett, The New York Times and Washington Post … they all have an agenda, a point of view they are trying to spread. Most of them will not admit their bias, but they all have it. It is evident in the headlines they write and the editorials and columns they produce.
But there is not room for that kind of bias in smaller, community newspapers. It is hard enough for us to find readers, and website viewers. I don’t want to lose even one or two of you because my political views differ from yours.
However, that dearth of political views does not include letters to the editor, or guest columns, or guest editorials. It does not include online conversations in our forums or comment sections. In there, you can be as political as you wish. I actually encourage those types of discussions. There is nothing more exhilarating than reading or taking part in a lively, pointed discussion about politics. You can do that with readers through our comment areas.
Say what you want, endorse who you want, slam the candidate you dislike. Just be civil. Personal attacks are not civil, and neither is profanity.
If you have an opinion you wish to share with our readers, write a letter to the editor. I worked at this newspaper some 20 years ago. At that time, we had a great group of letterwriters. Some I agreed with, some of their ideas I detested. But those ideas made it onto the pages of the Inquirer.
I won’t promise to publish every single letter. I won’t promise to run every column or editorial sent my way. But 99 percent of the letters we received were published in the pages of the Inquirer. I think that trend can continue.
Again, keep it civil. No personal attacks and no profanity.
For whatever reason, there are fewer letterwriters out there today.
So, if you have something you wish to say, email me your letter or column. Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today, not only will your letters be published in our print edition, but they’ll appear online at GalionInquirer.com and will likely make it to some Facebook pages, perhaps Twitter. Who knows where they might end up. Once something hits the Internet, it could make it’s way around the world in a matter of minutes.
That’s the beauty of the world we live in today.
And the ugly of this world.
Good ideas spread like wildfires. Look at the Ice Bucket Challenge of a few years ago.
But bad ideas also spread, like viruses.
The spread of terrorism and hate speech and ignorance has never been so quick. The Internet is the main culprit. In the past, you had to hunt and search for evil in this world. It was not thrust upon you each and every hour of each and every day. But the Internet has made the easy accessibility and spread of hateful ideas a frightening reality.
But I’m an optimist. In my world, the good will always overcome the bad.
Anyway, I got a little off track.
The goal of this column is to encourage political discourse, and conversations of any kind in our forums and comment sections, it is to encourage letters recognizing good deeds or good people. There are a lot of positive things happening in Galion. There also are some frightening things going on in Galion, in all communities.
But I don’t know all of them … the good or bad.
I need you, the readers, to make me better aware of them.