Snarky e-mails and comments on Facebook are unavoidable when you work for a newspaper — especially if you have anything to do with the opinion page.
For the most part, I can laugh them off. But one particularly irritating criticism contends that my ideas are not representative of Walker County and should not be given space on the Eagle’s Op-Ed page. My columns, many people argue, are a slap in the face to the Eagle’s key readership — conservatives.
Believe it or not there was a time when I didn’t write anything political. I wrote columns about how great of a community this place is. I wrote about how many wonderful people live here. I wrote about how much my family has meant to me. And I meant every word.
But one day I felt compelled to write about how so many in the national media — in a sad attempt at objectivity — let people on one side of the political aisle spout lies without any challenge. Those lies include the denial of global warming, the belief that the debt ceiling crisis was anything besides a Republican-induced catastrophe and the idea that the Great Recession was caused by government spending rather than the systematic de-regulation of Wall Street.
I’ve never worried about the response to a column that much before or since. I received a handful of complaints, of course. But I was amazed to find out that I received three positive comments for every negative one. Several people thanked me for saying what they’ve been thinking for years.
I’m not conceited enough to think that most people like my column. But there are a few people in this county who feel as I do.
We are tired of hearing about Obama’s socialist agenda when he uses ideas that originated from Republican groups 10 years ago (e.g. the Individual Mandate, Cap and Trade, etc.) We are tired of hearing Mitt Romney claim Obama is taking the work requirement out of welfare when every major fact-checking site has debunked that assertion (Politifact.com gave it the “Pants on Fire” rating). But we are also tired of defending a president with an abysmal civil liberties record simply because the other guys would be exponentially worse.
Most of all, we’re tired of hearing that our ideas are wrong just because the majority of the people in our community believe differently. The liberals, centrists and other non-conservatives in this county are here to stay. And the Daily Mountain Eagle belongs to them as much as it belongs to those on the right. So if you don’t like this column, follow the timeless advice of Bob Seger and turn the page. Don’t worry, though, tomorrow there will be Thomas Sowell, Daniel Gardner, John Stossel, Bill O’Reilly, Cal Thomas or someone else from our long list of right-wingers.
Daniel Gaddy is a staff reporter for the Daily Mountain Eagle and a Walker County native. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org