Let’s elevate the conversation – Opinion – Burlington County Times


In the Jan. 30 edition of this newspaper, there was yet another guest commentary as well as a couple of letters to the editor, all of which were wholly partisan in their respective political viewpoints. I absolutely respect their right to freedom of expression and give all letter writers to this publication credit for their interest and involvement in the political process.

However, I do take issue with the way many express their views on the current political climate as if it were a zero-sum game. There are only winners and losers; one side is totally correct and the other side totally wrong. Compromise or collaboration are abhorrent concepts.

These types of vehemently partisan diatribes — in my opinion — offer nothing to the reader, change no minds, while substantially contributing to the divineness of the body politic.

By way of example, and example only, I speak to the guest commentary of Jan. 30. The writer minimally extols the virtues of one party while providing a full-throated, comprehensive rebuke of the other political party.

There is no comparing and contrasting of party positions; no advocacy on the writer’s part of why one position is better or worse than another, perhaps in that writer’s opinion. Instead, we hear in the words written, the view that the other party is totally wrong in everything they have done or thwarted.

There is no reasoning of why the writer’s position — and that of his favored party — on a matter would likely yield a better outcome. The commentary simply aggrandizes the writer’s already immutable view.

The First Amendment permits this, but the product is not salient. I’m left with the impression that anyone with differing views of the writer’s should simply be muted; there is no conter argument possible.

In my cited example, the writer clearly implies that the Democratic Party will destroy our republic — by golly, they’re trying to do it as we speak. In a day or so, we’ll read a commentary or letters advising us that the Republican Party is destroying the republic — in process but not quite there yet, so stay tuned. Personally, I don’t think the end is in sight.

I do think that the political class — members of all parties — in our federal government need a good shaking up. I’m one of those that gives and has given Congress a near-zero approval rating.

I am politically interested and inquisitive. I have opinions on a wide array of issues affecting our country. When I do give voice to them, I try to diligently back up my opinions with as much fact as I can and in a manner of reasoned discourse. I have opinions, but they may not always be the right approach allowing for a given set of circumstances. I also understand that it can’t be “my way or the highway.” Life doesn’t work like that.

So, future writers to this newspaper, try ratcheting down your partisanship. Sway me. Convince me and my fellow readers that the view you are espousing is not only one you firmly believe in but — and most importantly — why you believe in it, what supports it.

Don’t simply denigrate the opposing view without convincing me of why your view is more tenable.

Alan Gaudio, Doylestown Township, is a community member on The Intelligencer Editorial Board.

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