If I want my phone to ring in the morning with an angry call, it’s pretty easy to do. All that’s needed is to slip in a column on the Opinion Page by Leonard Pitts.
It’s almost a 100% guarantee that someone will call and chastise us for publishing such “liberal viewpoints.” They even may threaten to quit buying the newspaper, saying that “if it weren’t for the obits, I’d cancel my Lima News right now.”
We hate hearing those words and we do take such comments seriously, especially when a caller says “my Lima News.” We work hard for readers to take ownership of this newspaper.
And to be fully transparent, I also will admit some of the things Pitts writes makes me wince, too.
So why publish his column? Why give him a platform when nearly 70% of those who voted in Allen, Putnam and Auglaize counties wanted Republican Donald Trump to have a second term?
There’s a one-word answer. It’s at the top of the page: “Opinion.”
Yes, The Lima News is stuck in some old-school ways. We still believe it is important to share different points of view instead of digging a foxhole and engaging in mortal combat with those who don’t see eye-to-eye with us. We think people are better off when they have an understanding of what the other person is saying, feeling or seeing. That doesn’t mean you have to agree with them or get in a circle and start singing kumbaya. It does, however, point to the foolishness of crying “fake news” every time you disagree with something. (It could be that 2 plus 2 really does equal 4, and just because you think it equals 5, doesn’t make the answer “4” fake news.)
There was a time the Opinion page of The Lima News was deeply rooted in the libertarian philosophy, so much so that the page was filled with almost all libertarian viewpoints. The publisher at that time explained the newspaper covered all kinds of news on its many pages, but this one page was dedicated to the libertarian philosophy. He so much believed in the libertarian philosophy that he refused offers of a tax abatement when the paper went looking for land to build a new facility. “We editorialize against tax abatements, how could we accept one,” he explained.
Today, some of that libertarian philosophy is still part of us, but it’s also mixed with conservative, and yes, some liberal viewpoints. We don’t believe all the answers can be found in the beliefs of one party.
We are an independent newspaper.
We carry not only Leonard Pitts’ national column, but also those of Cal Thomas, Jay Ambrose, Kathleen Parker, George Will and Christine Flowers among others. Locally, there is Mark Figley, Jessica Johnson, Ron Lora and Don Stratton. Men and women. Black and white. Catholic and Protestant. Conservative, moderate and liberal.
In today’s highly partisan and nasty political climate, we are guided by a simple, but powerful, sentence. Maybe, just maybe, you’ll find merit in it:
“The biggest communication problem today is that we don’t listen to understand, we listen to reply.”
ROSES AND THORNS: A well-respected politician earns a spot in the rose garden.
Rose: To state Sen. Matt Huffman, of Lima, who was named president of the Ohio Senate.
Rose: To Allen County Sheriff’s Office Detective Callie Basinger, who was named Law Officer of the Year by the Lima Exchange Club.
Rose: To Janet and Doug Davis, of Lima, who will be celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary on Wednesday.
Thorn: Allen County spent $50,000 of CARES funds on 36 Titan Hydroxyl Generators that claim to clean the air by producing molecules which “decompose organic and inorganic gases and air pollutants.” The Environmental Protection Agency, however, reports that such claims don’t always hold up to scientific scrutiny.
Thorn: It tuns out local government has little say when it comes to a proposed solar energy farm that would straddle Allen and Auglaize counties. The Shawnee Township trustees say we have nothing to do with approving solar farms, it would be the county commissioners. The commissioners in turn say not us, it’s a state matter.
PARTING SHOT: If you obey all the rules you miss some of the fun.
Jim Krumel is the editor of The Lima News. Contact him at 567-242-0391 or at The Lima News, 3515 Elida Road, Lima, Ohio 45807.