Truth is somewhere in the middle

Published 9:25 pm Friday, April 1, 2011

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As part of my job, I am responsible for the Editorial Page in the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald and Gates County Index.

Much of that work is taken care of by our local columnists who each take turns writing during the week. The other spots are taken up by syndicated columnists who have a variety of backgrounds and audiences.

D.G. Martin has been writing a column geared mainly toward North Carolina for many years and we publish his column in each of our Tuesday editions.

I also brought back Southern Seen by Dr. Larry McGeehee when I first took responsibility for the pages. He has since passed away and I still miss his column greatly.

The editorial staff at the News-Herald – that’s Cal Bryant, Amanda VanDerBroek and me for those who aren’t familiar with the term – is a pretty moderate bunch. Cal is the more conservative, I’m the more liberal and Amanda is a pretty good balance.

We feel like that’s true of our region as well. There are a lot of conservatives and a lot of people who aren’t and then those in the middle. For this reason, we’ve tried to incorporate a variety of opinions on this page.

Many Thursday editions feature Susan Stamper Brown, who is a very conservative columnist, who often disagrees with the administration of President Barack Obama and the Democrats. Tina Dupuy is the writer of choice most Saturday’s and while Brown is conservative, Dupuy is incredibly not.

We also occasionally use the weekly column offered by John Hood, who serves as Editor of the Carolina Journal, one of the more conservative publications in North Carolina.

I said all that to get to this – most of our syndicated columnists, sans Martin, grate my nerves. They absolutely see things from one point of view and that will never change, no matter what facts are presented to them.

If you’re conservative, the Democrats have never, ever had a good idea. If you’re a liberal, the Republicans are demons who came straight from the pits of Hades.

I don’t understand that kind of logic and I don’t believe many people in the United States do either.

Last week, Hood spent time in his weekly writing to sell his belief that the Republican controlled North Carolina General Assembly has been near-perfect in their first few months.

Another column I received, which we did not have room to publish, said that the overall impression of the General Assembly for most North Carolinians is not as good as Hood would have had us believe. The numbers in that piece say the Republicans have a negative rating rather than a positive one.

The truth? It’s almost certainly somewhere in between. The Republican-controlled legislature has done some things that are popular among most people and some things that aren’t very popular with anyone except the ultra conservative.

Likewise, President Obama has done some things well and some things not so well.

It remains amazing to me that anyone could be so sold on one doctrine as to believe it has no margin for error. Comedian Lewis Black said anyone who is still a loyal Democrat or Republican is delusional.

“I think you’re seeing something that’s not there,” he said.

I find myself agreeing more and more.

Despite what pundits, including those whose columns we publish, may sell you, neither party is perfect. They make mistakes and they are on the wrong sides of some issues.

Until both parties and their “spokespeople” learn to admit frankly the shortcomings of their own ideology, we’ll never get a system that is trusted by the majority of the American people.

Thadd White is a Staff Writer and Sports Editor for Roanoke-Chowan Publications. He can be reached via email at or by telephone at 332-7211.