March 4, 2004
by Chris Feeney
What if no one had an opinion? Well, then I would be writing this editorial every week (well okay every other week or so here lately - call me lazy or whatever, but sometimes it's just hard to write an editorial on command.) But I'm not here to make excuses for the lack of recent What if columns. I'm simply posing the question to point out why this section of the newspaper is my favorite. Don't get me wrong, I care about the news and obviously I love sports, yet for whatever reason the opinion page is the one I love to read first. It has nothing to do with my little piece of the puzzle (it often gets me in more trouble than it's good for). What I truly enjoy is reading other people's opinions. Sometimes it's hard to do, when they are busy attacking my position in past editorials, but even when I don't agree, I still enjoy reading what other people have to say about issues.
That brings up a point I've tried to make before. Just because it appears here on this page of the newspaper doesn't mean that the paper's staff or ownership agrees with the opinion the piece is expressing. We try to offer opposing viewpoints as well as different sides of current arguments at the local, state and national level. Sure I chime in with my two cents in What if? But I also try to publish opposing viewpoints. I had one caller ask why I published all negative cartoons against the President. Trust me, it's not because I think we'd be any better off with a Democrat in the White House. It's simply food for thought.
That transitions to the next topic of discussion. If you don't like what is said or done on this page, get a piece of paper and pencil and give us your opinion. Look at this week's letters to the editor. We have three farmers that have taken it upon themselves to defend Congressman Kenny Hulshof after a letter writer two weeks ago questioned his foreign policy votes. Another writer posed a question regarding newspaper coverage. I think this is awesome. I love to see people express their minds, and more importantly I applaud them for having enough belief in their opinion to put their names behind their ideas for the public to consider. Don't get me wrong, I wish that everyone liked every bit of the paper, but that ain't gonna happen. We don't like to see ourselves taken to task for our mistakes and once again, we may not agree with what the writer has to say necessarily, but it's just more ideas for you the reader to ponder. Do you agree, or disagree? If so, maybe you should pick up a pen or type out a few words in an e-mail. It can't be any worse than some of the dribble I've filled this space with from time to time. Besides, by now people know I'm a gun-owning conservative with questionable grammar and spelling skills. They'd love to see some differing points of view.