Pigeonholing editors’ political views obscures their meaning

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    As Opinion Editor, I am not only expected to keep my positions consistent and cogent, but I must do so with the views of others, even when I do not agree.I have no shortage of opinions, but I try to give everyone’s view a chance. Some people find speaking their mind very difficult. For me, I can’t help but speak – ad nauseam.

    It is hard to tell how balanced an opinion page is if you don’t know how the person filtering the information thinks. In England, you know you are getting biased news and what bias it has when you pick up a paper. While I intend to keep things balanced, I am far from perfect. So I leave it to you, the reader, to judge. This article contains a full disclosure of my views, and those of the collective TCU Daily Skiff staff.

    I consider myself a radical moderate, meaning I am generally a fiscal conservative and a social liberal. I don’t agree with the Libertarians enough to join with them, and the Democrats are too fractious and, in my mind, not reform-minded enough to be effectual. If really pressed for the truth, I would say I am a very moderate Republican, but even with their fairly consistent position, the GOP doesn’t come close to living up to the promises they make.

    It all really comes down to the fact that I am sick and tired of politicians. I call myself a radical moderate because I would love to impeach everyone in the executive and judiciary branches of government, then recall everyone in the legislative. Call it the tabula rosa view of political reform: shake the government Etch-a-Sketch until it is blank and draw it again.

    But where does the rest of this newspaper stand?

    Well, that took a couple of days and a little prying. While you all were still relaxing last week, I was with the other Skiff editors-in-training attempting to force out their political views.

    Some people gave their answers readily and simply. We have two Libertarians, though one qualifies this with moderate. We have a centrist. We have one dyed-in-the-wool Republican, though after our conversation the term moderate conservative was thrown around a bit. As it turns out, this ModCon was fiscally conservative and socially liberal, as well.

    It got a little difficult after these people. One person gave the answer timidly centrist. This particular editor was unsure where to stand, but accepted the middle. Another editor was not-so-timidly liberal – no reasons were given for this choice, but it just seemed to fit without need for accessorizing and qualifying. One editor used the term thoughtfully centrist – no concern for political affiliation.

    Another editor took a test to answer my question and said 35 percent conservative and 75 percent liberal. For those of your keeping score at home, this person gave 110 percent to political issues.

    Finally, we have the most interesting response: the political schizoid. After much prodding, the only answer was that this person changes political views on most issues based on mood or instinct. This editor maintains a balanced worldview by siding with everyone at some point in the day.

    After sifting through the answers, I began to notice that most of our editors are, like most Americans likely are, right in the middle. On some issues they lean conservative and on others they lean liberal.

    Some of us come from backgrounds where the labels we use give the impression that our views are in opposition, but in reality, a little intelligent discussion among our staff usually yields views that are remarkably similar. After last year’s bitterly polarizing election and the subsequent whining and squabbling from both sides of the body politic, I find this revelation comforting.

    So ends the Skiff political breakdown. I hope this helps you to understand and evaluate our paper a little better. You may have noticed I didn’t reveal the names or the genders to whom the other views belong and still called this “full disclosure.”

    Remember, this article is about politics. Did you really expect complete honesty?