Editor and Publisher Don Rogers: Partisans left only the pen | VailDaily.com

Editor and Publisher Don Rogers: Partisans left only the pen

Don Rogers
Vail CO Colorado

Gotta love the ideologues, the partisans, the crazy over-the-top political fanatics who earnestly believe their party has all the right answers and anything else is not just wrong, but morally decrepit.

We’re heading fast to the climax of this theater of the absurd. All the posturing, overreaction to every gaffe, reinterpreting rivals’ positions, raising the darkest possible conclusions off the smallest clues, and other wide-eyed raising of doubt to date has been mere prelude to the sprint to come after Labor Day.

This is politics of the pejorative, People magazine for our friends who find policy maybe a little dry, but oh the drama of the campaign!

I’m sure I’d be appalled at how politics has sunk to new lows, and woe is us for the disappearance of true statesmen and women, if not for the fact that this has been the way of these things for centuries.

We no longer hang or behead those unfortunates for expressing the wrong views while out of power. No duels with fists, knives or muskets.

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No editors have been horsewhipped lately, as one 1800s predecessor of mine in a small Western town was. (No doubt the temptation exists among the readership here today, if I’m doing my job right.)

Only sharp wordplay exists today. Note I didn’t say anything about wit, which might be on its way to becoming the latest casualty of history. We do seem to be turning to blunter instruments of language.

We’ve become so sissified that some of the mean ol’ partisan types around here whine about mean ol’ partisan types on the “wrong” team being, well, too mean in criticizing mean ol’ partisans who previously were too mean to their friends.

Well, maybe. But that’s kind of what the First Amendment is all about. Free speech isn’t about protecting careful, sanitized expression calculated to never insult anyone ever. Or say much of anything at all.

We’ll leave the PR people to handle the smoothing and flattening of messaging in general. This forum, while free of swords, still allows some room for sharp elbows in criticism, if only a pale touch of the partisanship of yore.

We do aim to weed out the libels, invasions of privacy, swear words, racist and similar statements.

The funny thing for me is that the only folks who complain about the back and forth between the partisans are mean ol’ partisans themselves — with no lack of poison in their pens, either.

What is it about folks who can’t take what they dish out anyway?

Editor and Publisher Don Rogers can be reached at drogers@vaildaily.com or 970-748-2920.

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