Before I delve into this week’s subject, I first need to address a faux pas from last week’s column. I said it was the fault of the current presidential administration that military personnel in recruiting centers are unarmed. That is not accurate.
After I was berated by a reader (and called an outed conservative) for laying blame for the murders of five military personnel at a recruitment center in Tennessee on President Obama, I researched my facts better. What I found was the order preventing service men and women from being armed in recruiting center goes back to the administration of George H.W. Bush.
I cannot put the blame solely on one administration, though. Four presidents have served since the first Bush administration and none have made any attempt to undo that order. So in my opinion, it is a failure of the system entirely – our troops have become targets on American soil and they should have the right to defend themselves.
That said, you can think whatever you like about my position – call me liberal or conservative – I don’t really care.
What I wanted to say this week was a little something about how difficult it is sometimes to write a weekly column. Sometimes an idea just pops into my head and I run with it, other times I ponder various thoughts and suggestions until that light bulb goes off over my head and I start typing. Many times, especially when I’m tired or in a bad mood, ideas end up on the cutting room floor. These ideas are too sarcastic, too rude or just plain out there in left field for me to take them and run.
Left or right: I’ve found taking a political stance is akin to suicide in the world of community journalism. As journalists we are immediately tagged as liberals. I’ve met people from the get-go who assume right up front I am a far-left, tree-hugging, Bill Clintonloving liberal. I tend to think of myself as more middle of the road, but any time I’ve taken a stance on an issue I’ve been either labeled a conservative or liberal (as I mentioned earlier), so I just give up.
Watch your mouth: I grew up in a time where there was no such thing as political correctness. About the time I came into this business was when people starting becoming PC and there was a whole list of guidelines spelled out for writers on how to describe those people you write about. Whether it was about ethnicity, disabilities or gender equality, there is a label for everything. I hate labels (as I said in the previous entry) and I think political correctness sometimes goes so far overboard it draws more attention to what is different about a person than would be if we weren’t creating elaborate titles.
I’ll stop there before I offend someone, but you’ll never see a column about being PC from me. firstname.lastname@example.org