Friday, December 3, 2010

Opinion - Ignorance comes back to bite us

Ignorance comes back to bite us
That’s My Opinion
By Bob Robinson
Dec. 3, 2010

After my special opinion Sunday, Both Sides of the Story, I got the following comment:
“Your position on an issue from either the right or left perspectives matters less to me than your providing a truthful reporting of what is happening concerning local issues. We have plenty of pundits to take care of the state and national "news".

“What we really need in Darke County is someone willing to keep local politicians accountable for their decisions. We need someone to ask the hard questions and demand that the public gets good answers. Our local school boards, village and city councils, and our county commission, all make decisions that impact our lives and our future.
“What we receive from local media is a reporting of what took place at a meeting but there never is a questioning of officials as to "why" something was decided. There is no questioning of local officials regarding the ramifications of their decisions. In the absence of accountability local elected officials are not challenged to make the best decisions rather than expedient decisions.
“So Bob, I would suggest that you be less concerned about "right" and "left" and more concerned about "good" decisions and "bad" decisions. This would be your greatest service to your many loyal readers.”
The comment was “anonymous” so I couldn’t post it. At the same time, what this individual said is appreciated… and far too important to ignore.
He/she is right and he/she is wrong.
“Right” and “left” are unacceptable terms. For instance, I’ve been accused of being “left” on some issues, “right” on others. I plead guilty to both.
The issues are typically more complex than that. These labels, however, are the only publically recognizable way I know to distinguish between the plethora of blogs and news items typically found on the “cyberspace” network.
I totally agree about local issues and holding local representatives accountable.
My first observation is that our public officials (both Democrat and Republican), and even the citizens driving some of our local issues, are typically more “right” than “left.” I sometimes – okay, maybe often – disagree with their decisions; occasionally to the point of believing their logic misguided. However, I also believe that, from their perspective, they are usually based on what they think is best for the communities they serve or live in.
Regarding our elected officials, someone is going to be hard pressed to convince me that in Darke County, Ohio, we elect people who are “social agenda” driven, either left or right. They are too busy trying to do their jobs in the midst of the mire of state and federal regulations.
You can take it from a “furiner and a snake in the grass” that our communities have elevated the performance of the proverbial grapevine to a fine science. I’ve lost track of the rumors – no matter how outlandish – I’ve tracked down, both during and since my tenure at The Advocate.
Ask the tough questions? Yeah, we can ask them. I’m not going to speak for anyone else, but I do it. And I’ll continue to do it whenever possible.
I’ll be posting an interview with Commissioner-elect Mike Stegall next week. You decide if I’ve asked the right questions.
I stand by my performance. In the past, now and in the future.
However, keep in mind it is a three-way street. The Fourth Estate – that’s still me, I guess – has to ask them. The subject of the interview has to be candid with his or her response. And the readers have to read and pay attention to what they say.
The ball has often been dropped, but not always by the media. We can all do better.
Regarding the left and right, state and national news and commentary, I’ve fought this battle before and will continue to fight it.
What our representatives do when we send them to Washington and Columbus have an impact on our everyday lives in Darke County!
Our official unemployment rate is 10 percent – unofficial is 18 to 22 percent – thanks to those who govern us at these levels. We have impossible demands imposed upon us by those who believe Big Brother should think and care for us. State and national bureaucrats tie the hands of our local officials, often to our detriment.
Decisions that impact our lives and our future?
How about our kids stuck in a state educational system – with federal mandates – that is designed not for their education, but for the continued empowerment of adults with their own agendas?
Ask a teacher or administrator what kind of restrictions or guidelines he or she has to follow sometime.
I will continue to search out the agendas outside our collective hamlets and offer you those that I think deserve our attention.
And I would be remiss if I didn’t try to give you all perspectives, left and right. Ignorance can - and does - come back to bite us.
That’s my opinion. What’s yours?

Bob Robinson is the retired editor of The Daily Advocate, Greenville, Ohio. If you wish to receive a daily notification of his comments, opinions and reports, send your email address to: Feel free to express your views.

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