Escondido, CA
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Mostly sunny

A right to my opinion (and yours)

~ Editorial

You have a right to my opinion, it seems to me. And I have a right to yours.

This is an election season, and so, more and more, you may see political opinions expressed in this space.

It is fairly well known that I’m a right-winger, of the type who abhors Hillary Clinton and laughs at Bernie Sanders and likes Ted Cruz and wouldn’t be caught dead walking on the same sidewalk with Donald Trump. I’m actually a little more complicated than that since I’m also very much a libertarian. I guess you might call me an imperialist libertarian.

I’ve been writing editorials and opinion pieces for more than 30 years. I’ve been often been described as being “to the right of Attila the Hun.”

Now, I don’t really admire Attila, except as a gifted military leader and practitioner of “horde-sourcing” but it’s long been in fashion to characterize people like me who favor smaller and less authoritarian government and more personal freedom as being in the same life­boat as your village S.S. colonel. When you figure that one out, tell me how you did it.

So now you know my prejudices and peccadilloes (or think you do) but I know there are plenty of people out there in the Hidden Valley who don’t share my opinions. The results in the last couple of city elections would lead one to suppose that Escondido is some­what conservative but with a strong strain of liberalism.

I’d like to see our opinion pages reflect a wider view of politics, both local and state and national. Although these pages will mainly reflect local concerns, we’d also like them to be a little spicier. Dis­sent is the spice of conversation, it seems to me.

Once or twice readers have written asking for more balance. Over the years I have noticed that when people of a certain political per­suasion call for “more balanced” opinion they actually mean they want me to stop writing my opinions.

They usually don’t mean that they want us to publish leftwing columns or opinions. Even though the welcome mat is out.

They usually want an end to “hate speech,” by which they mean any speech they disagree with. But when challenged to write some left wing opinions of their own, which could, I suppose for lack of a better term be called “love speech,” they usually say, “Well, I don’t have time.”

It’s time for you to prove me wrong, Escondido! If you want to see more balanced opinions, maybe you should write them.

Certainly, some among you who read this paper and con­sider yourselves liberals or Democrats, or moderates have the grammar skills and pas­sion and time to sit down and write a letter to the editor or an opinion piece. The invitation is extended. If you can write and wish to defend your liberal icons and advance the revolution, by all means contact us. We will provide you with a soapbox. We will give you plenty of public­ity, even put in a plug for your column.

Let me say it again, a news­paper is characterized by how welcoming it is to all kinds of opinions. I’ve almost never turned away letters on any sub­ject, unless they were too long or personally attacked someone (not a political figure, they are always fair game, no matter what their party or philosophy). Do you worst or your best. I’ll print it.

You’re not limited to writing articles disagreeing with me. That has diminishing returns. Take on city hall, or defend it. Weigh in on the supervisor’s race. Strut your stuff about state government. Write about any­thing you like, as long as you keep it lively and interesting.

Show me that you ACTUAL­LY want to see a balance when it comes to opinion in this paper. The ball is in your court, you liberals and Democrats!

*Note: Opinions expressed by columnists and letter writers are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the newspaper.

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