It depends on how you look at it |

It depends on how you look at it

Out on a Limb
Ross L. Talbott
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

In politics, I often see a disparity in the way different sides of an issue are presented. A good close-to-home example occurred with this column. At the end of an extensive response to my opinions it was noted “the writer is …,” and a long list of his qualifications followed. At the end of my column it just says “Ross Talbott lives in New Castle.”

I’m not sure if this is an insult to New Castle or if they are just demeaning me. I really believe that it just shows incredibly good judgment on my part to be part of a peaceful caring community that is not plagued with crime and urban decay.

It’s nice to have deer and elk in the streets at night rather than gangs.

The point is that assumptions based on lack of information very often lead to bad decisions.

A country singer lady on a quiz show competing against fifth-graders seemed incredibly dumb when trying to answer the question “of which country is Budapest the capital.”

Her problem was not really lack of intelligence. She was so professionally focused that she hadn’t gathered information in other areas.

Many professional people become so focused in their area of expertise that they become very successful and acclaimed, but may have overlooked other viewpoints. You can back yourself into an intellectual, political or emotional corner.

Pride and ego then drive you to passionately defend your position even if it means denigrating your opponent’s intelligence.

In science, the proponents of evolution have backed themselves into that corner. Confronted with incredible new discoveries such as DNA and the awesome complexity of cell design, even Richard Dawkins resorted to suggesting panspermia. That only opens a whole new set of questions.

People who embrace the concept of intelligent design are criticized as lacking in intelligence.

Personal attacks on one’s opponent, no matter how well articulated, only indicate the weakness of your position.

That concept is overwhelmingly evident in politics today.

If you switch political parties based on whether or not you can get re-elected, doesn’t it cast into doubt the motives behind all of your decisions? What about conviction, integrity and virtue? Are you a real leader or just a political weather vane?

If we close Guantanamo because it creates discomfort for terrorists who are avowed haters of America and all non-Muslims we are supposedly compassionate and noble people. If we disavow waterboarding it sends a message to the world that we are kind and gentle.

Others may read that as weak and vulnerable.

Talk about dichotomy. All that noble kindness and then we turn around and kill some 50 million of our own defenseless babies. Late-term abortion is incredibly brutal but we justify it as “freedom of choice.”

The freedom of choice happened when the act took place to produce the pregnancy. The pregnancy is a consequence of that free choice.

In all areas of our life, we should endure or profit from the consequences of our choices. That’s how learning responsibility takes place.

What if we applied the “freedom of choice” concept to all self-serving actions that we take? There is speeding for the thrill. There is getting high for the thrill. How about sexual assault for the thrill? After all shouldn’t we have the freedom to choose and freedom from consequences?

I like the saying, “If you’re young and not a liberal you don’t have a heart and if you’re old and not a conservative you don’t have a brain.”

Where does that leave you if you have neither? I guess you “live in New Castle.”

Ross L. Talbott lives in New Castle, not to suggest that there’s anything wrong with that.

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