Joan King's Tuesday column laments the "uninformed and unthinking reaction of the American public to anything political," and is a critique of our polarized politics.
She clearly sees herself as wearing a white hat, a model for us all to follow. To demonstrate her more enlightened approach, she recommends two books noted for being critical of the Bush administration (which she opposes).
In other words, she doesn't bridge the gap at all; we're supposed to do as she says, not as she does, and think as she commands.
King could have brought some credibility to her argument for bridging the divide by recommending works whose insights and themes go against her own prejudices and biases that she expresses on a regular basis, perhaps:
A book that argues persuasively for switching to nuclear power to reduce the fossil fuel emissions she is so concerned about.
Or a book that argues that "global warming" is primarily the result of natural forces. Or a book that makes the case that corn-based ethanol has been a disaster for the environment, livestock and for poor people around the world. Or a book that explains the economics of the oil industry.
While decrying the tendency of arguments to be reduced to black or white, Ms. King herself makes such binary arguments constantly. For the most recent example, check out her July 1 column on nuclear energy. She is hardly ever kind to people who think the way I do on the issues, energy or otherwise. In her view, it is a matter of black and white. Her ideas are always good, and conservative ideas are always bad.
Like many of my friends, I am highly partisan, a strong conservative based on a lifetime of learning, both in books and through experience. Like them, I read criticisms of specific policies, both liberal and conservative, and specific officials, both liberal and conservative. Like them, I judge those policies and officials according to fundamental principles that are themselves based on the long experience of the human race.
Namely, we're partisan about low taxes that fund limited government; low taxes that reward creativity, initiative and investment; limited government that does only what government is supposed to do; each level of government sticking to its knitting; justice as the balance of liberty and equality; and other core conservative principles.
A big reason for excess partisanship is the excessive expansion of government: As government pushes deeper and deeper into every aspect of daily life and commerce, the stakes of winning -- or losing -- grow still larger.
We're unashamedly partisan about keeping government out of where it does not belong.
chairman, Hall County Republican Party