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Opening Arguments

The party line

I got sidetrack by election-coverage chores last week, so I didn't get around to blogging about the partisan claptrap that caught my eye in a Journal Gazette endorsement editorial. It concerned House District 82 in which the paper favors the Democrat, Mike Wilber. This is what they wrote about his opponent:


The Republican challenger, David Ober, is a self-employed Web designer seeking his first elected office. He’s a graduate of Central Noble High School and Purdue University. His views reflect partisan talking points rather than informed opinions.

Before I specify my complaint, I confess I've committed the same sin. I think most people caught up in politics have, too. The candidates from our side are always expressing "informed opinions," and the ones from the others merely mouthing "partisan talking points." It is the nature of partisanship to slip into that kind of thinking. But it's patently absurd, simpleminded nonsense, and we should resist it as much as we can.

I've talked with hundreds of politicians over the years and, trust me, they're all about the same. Oh, there's the occasional congenital liar and the rare maverick thinker, but most of them are straightforward in their desires and relatively honest about what they will do to get them. And they all follow their parties' lines because, guess what, they're running for office as a member of that party. Believe me, Mike Wilber spouted the Democratic party line just as faitfhully as Ober did the GOP party line. It's just hard for a liberal to hear it that way, as it is hard for a conservative to hear his party line.