One of the great benefits of putting my thoughts in print for more than 100,000 readers each week is the response I get. This column has both critics and supporters, and each response is greatly valued. Some of you think I’m of liberal leanings and others believe I’m a conservative. I hope I’m a little of both, forcing candidates to not take my vote for granted. Based on responses, I believe many of you think like me in this process.
The single most important point I try to get across is that we must not get caught up in partisan politics. As Americans, we must resist the current trend our politicians have set in place to divide and split the nation. We must all be on guard to read, listen and watch many sources of information and judge the facts for ourselves and not through politically colored filters.
In last week’s column, I took exception to the lack of information and accountability coming out of some of the current investigations in Washington. I received an email from one of our readers last week regarding my comments. Here is an excerpt…. “Over the years you have consistently berated President Obama’s policies and performance even calling on him not to run for a second term back in 2012. You are entitled to your opinion of course and you are entitled to lecture us all about personal responsibility and standing up to admit error. But the fact is that in the past you have taken GOP/right wing talking points and published them as if they were facts and this latest editorial is another example. It is not journalism, it’s propaganda, no different than Michele Bachmann’s claim a while back that the President was spending $200 million a day on a state visit to India. You were not responsible for the erroneous report of Mr. Shulman’s White House visits and perhaps you haven’t fallen for the whole ‘President and IRS collude to rig the election’ meme that some are peddling. But you were responsible for publishing their nonsense without independently checking facts and thus it would seem that a correction and an apology are the appropriate way for you to demonstrate that ‘personal responsibility’ are more than mere words to you.”
This reader raises some valid points. I did not research the number of visits Mr. Shulman made to the White House. I did pull that information from other reported news sources. I did personally hear Mr. Shulman’s response, on the radio while traveling, when asked why he had visited the White House. His response that he was at the Easter Egg Roll was not appropriate and should have offended every American. The commenting reader asked that I go to The Atlantic website that attempts to explain why Mr. Shulman may have been scheduled and cleared to attend a meeting but does not necessarily mean that he actually attended those meetings. Neither Mr. Shulman nor the article provides specific details whether Mr. Shulman did or did not attend the White House “X” number of times and if so with whom and what were the purpose of his visits. Democrat or Republican, we all should expect and demand straight, truthful answers when asked without sarcasm.
Let me shift gears and offer this best example of how I would like to see our elected officials and those who work for government perform their jobs. A lot has been made by both sides of the political spectrum recently when Democratic President Obama visited New Jersey as the guest of Republican Governor Chris Christy to tour the recovery progress from Hurricane Sandy cooperatively working together as American Leaders doing the jobs they were elected to do. Both are to be applauded for their professionalism and not acting like spoiled kids who don’t get their way at a birthday party. Republicans and Democrats must work together to serve the people’s needs, plain and simple and the news media must help us make them both toe the line of accountability and stop choosing sides. Political campaigning must not override governing. It’s the primary reason I encourage one six-year-term for the presidency instead of two four-year terms.
Dan Alexander is associate publisher of New Market Press and publisher and CEO of Denton Publications. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.