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home : opinion : opinion May 22, 2015

2/25/2013 12:26:00 PM
Editorial How can there be peace in the world if we can't even listen to our neighbors

Our forefathers spent a lot of time discussing issues and working to find ways to address those issues that were at least acceptable to others. They did not let partisan politics stand in the way of creating the democratic republic in which we live today.

George Washington warned the nation about the dangers of partisan politics and implored Americans to avoid the trap that partisan politics sets for citizens of a democracy.

When I was a young man involved in the Democratic party, I had many friends in the Republican party. We had interesting and stimulating conversations about issues without resorting to comments about being liberal or conservative or trying to pigeonhole each other. We understood and respected each other's differences. Our objective was more to understand our opponent's position than to prove our opponent wrong.

At that time the Pro-Life movement was a part of the Democratic party and Republicans were Pro-Choice.

There are no positions that are strictly liberal or conservative. There is not an issue that anyone can name that lacks supporters from both sides of the aisle on all sides of the issue.

We are foolish and self-deceived when we start dividing people up into groups of liberals and conservatives and claim to know what people in those groups believe and where they stand on issues. It is foolish because it undermines the system of government which our forefathers set up for us and which has worked so well for our nation in the past.

It is always gratifying to me when someone stops in or writes to me to let me know that they disagree with me on an issue where I have expressed a position and share with me where they are coming from on the issue.

It is always frustrating to me when people tell me they disagree with me on an issue about which they have assigned me a position because they've decided I'm a liberal and they think they know where all liberals stand on the issue.

I've been disappointed since buying the newspapers in 2003 at the number of people who have said they are afraid to express their opinions publicly because they would be ostracized by friends and neighbors.

We, the People, do not gain anything by pigeonholing each other and closing our minds to those we have decided disagree with us. Pigeonholing people as liberals and conservatives only serves to undermine the possibility of working together as our forefathers did to solve our nation's problems.

Larry Dobson

Claremont Service

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