Saturday, February 24 , 2018, 5:36 pm | Fair 58º


Local News

Bill Macfadyen: Politics, As Usual, Draws Lots of Opinion

Six national columnists are joining Noozhawk's nest, but we still have plenty of room for you.

A day when the Los Angeles Dodgers win and the San Francisco Giants lose is a good day for me. But when the Dodgers beat the Giants it’s a great day.

Sports and politics have much in common, not the least of which is the passionate nature of the partisans of one team or political party. Of course, each of us would insist our side is the best one, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Those who support a particular candidate, policy position, party or team should be enthusiastic about the cause.

But unlike sports, where the Dodgers should always win and the Giants should always lose, politics is part of a larger purpose, one that affects the very nature and vitality of our great nation. While there are winners and losers in the marketplace of ideas, the common good usually is best served when politics includes compromise. And authentic compromise can only be achieved through a healthy — and respectful — debate.

Noozhawk was founded, in part, to champion that community discussion because — in all candor — it hasn’t existed in Santa Barbara and Goleta for quite some time. We face scores of critical challenges here but lasting solutions won’t emerge from skirmishes on the edges; rather, they’ll be forged in hard-fought engagement at the center of the battlefield.

We welcome submissions from our readers, be they articles or commentaries, because we don’t hold the patent on knowledge and readily admit our readers are as much experts on a particular topic as we are, and likely even more so. By including a growing number of voices, we can make our community smaller, which is good for all of us. We do maintain some editorial discretion to satisfy our attorney and insurance agent, but what we choose not to publish is negligible.

The vast majority of Noozhawk readers gets this concept of ours and embraces it. They realize they can participate in telling our community’s story and are excited to have the opportunity to share what they know and to engage in — or even start — a spirited dialogue if moved to do so. In the Point of View section alone, I’m grateful that people as diverse as Debbie Brasket, Bill Cirone, Scott Harris, Laura Hout, Tam Hunt and Harris Sherline have taken the time to contribute commentaries to us on a regular basis. This is a great start, but we want to do more.

Contrary to the accusations of a few, these are not the only points of view we allow. Noozhawk doesn’t take editorial positions or make political endorsements, and just because we publish something doesn’t mean we agree with it. We want opinion pieces from all sides. It is my hope that more and more readers will take it upon themselves to write guest commentaries and even regular columns for us. If you don’t like what you read, write something better. Click here to learn how.

In the meantime, beginning today, we’re introducing a few well-known syndicated columnists to provide a national perspective on what is shaping up to be the most exciting political era of this generation.

On alternating days, we’ll be publishing columns from Michael Barone, Susan Estrich, Jim Hightower, Larry Kudlow, Michelle Malkin and Robert Scheer — three writing from a generally conservative point of view and three from a generally liberal one. I flipped a coin and Malkin goes first, so please don’t read anything into the order.

Now, I know some might find this six pack less filling and that’s OK. Here’s the deal: If you have a favorite columnist — even one not writing about politics — just tell me who it is. But I would remind you that we’re a penniless startup and I’m likely going to ask you to underwrite it. The cost is not prohibitive and we’ll give you or your organization credit as the benefactor. E-mail me at [email protected] and let’s talk.

Finally, on a related topic, please accept my appeal to your sense of decency and fairness as it relates to our story comments. If you can’t make your point or defend your position without relying on abusive epithets and personal insults, go find a local blog to haunt. Noozhawk is trying to enhance community debates, not coarsen them. We thank you for your participation.

Go Dodger Blue!

Noozhawk publisher Bill Macfadyen can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

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