There has been much commentary recently about the negative ads being run by all the presidential candidates, both Democratic and Republican, but especially the Republican candidates.
Both national and local news outlets have remarked on how distasteful these ads are, how mean the commentaries are and how our republic is surely going down the tubes because of it.
It is true that such ads are distasteful, but the truth of the matter is from the beginning of our republic mud has been thrown, and the content has been much worse, at times, than it is today.
It appears worse because we live in a world of instant mass media. Everything is reported, including what a candidate does in his personal time.
The response to that reporting is instant also.
Many times the people who do respond to stories on candidates can see no middle ground; they see only their own point of view and believe all others to be wrong, and there is no changing those folk's minds.
Wednesday Newt Gingrich, a Republican candidate for president, was in town. We felt privileged that a major political candidate would come to our community; it was like having a rock star visit.
We covered it extensively on the web and in the paper. Our coverage also included a front page commentary about Gingrich's comments at the rally. The commentary should not have been on the front page; it should have run on our opinion page as it was someone's opinion. It was a mistake in judgment by a new editor; the issue has been addressed internally and corrected.
So for all of you who may have felt we purposely treated the former speaker unfairly, we issue a mea culpa. The real problem we have with today's politics is the inability of some of the most vocal of our citizens to show tolerance when something is said that disagrees with their own opinions. Instead it's viewed as one big conspiracy to cause harm, and that is the difference between today's politics and the politics of our forefathers.