In preparing for this month’s column, I have come to the realization that I could never be a bona fide journalist. 

Those journalists in Mexico that write about the cartel and police corruption then wind up being assassinated in their driveways or jogging down the street or those writers that travel to the Middle East to cover the war on ISIS or in Syria and end up being captured and killed by the terrorist; not for me. 

I suppose something in my past led me to choose being an educator over becoming a journalist.

So, why did I begin my column in this manner?  There are several topics that I have been thinking of covering, but as I thought about these topics, I also read about people being accosted by individuals because of their ethnicity or religion or people being attacked because they came to someone’s aid and it made me rethink covering various topics. 

Since I began writing this column, members of Congress were attacked because of their party affiliation practicing for a charity baseball game. I realize that my belief system is one or two standard deviations from the mean of this county, so I don’t really know how people would react if I were to really express myself.

For this reason I will avoid commenting on the repeal of the Affordable Health Care Act in favor of one that will be more expensive and cover fewer people.  I won’t editorialize about the proposed national budget that will cut taxes for the very wealthy while cutting benefits and increasing taxes for those of us further down the economic food chain.  I will avoid dealing with the country’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Accord even though our country is one of the biggest offenders in the use of fossil fuels.  So instead of creating clean air related jobs in the coal producing states and putting those without jobs back to work developing solar and wind energy, we decide to produce more coal and continue to pollute the environment leading to a world unfit for our great-grandchildren and their children. 

Oh wait, you would have to value scientific inquiry to believe that the climate is actually getting warmer.

There are some things that raise important issues in my mind.  I read recently that Democrats and/or liberals made a mistake in supporting civil rights for minorities and equal rights for women and individuals with alternative lifestyles. 

I read that these same groups were wrong to support the idea for a fair path to citizenship for all of the undocumented workers currently living in our country, making significant contributions to our society.  I have to ask myself, where is it written that it is wrong to support ethnic, gender, and lifestyle equality.  How am I lessened by other people having the same rights and privileges that I enjoy? 

The current problem in our society appears to be that groups from the “left” and the “right” can’t get together and calmly discuss the issues that we as a country face.  If a person from the left or the right states a belief, someone from the other group automatically believes that it is wrong.  Our governmental system was based on compromise.  I used to see a doctor here in town who served as our family practitioner.  He and I had very different attitudes on a variety of topics but after my exam, he and I would sit and discuss issues and actually celebrate our differences.  We are all Americans and there are issues that this country needs to address.  My hope is that we can deal with these issues in a compromising manner from the President on down to the citizens of our county and city. 

Taking a “your wrong and I am right” approach will not solve the problems, but only lead to anger and discord.

Bob Newby is an educator and Erath County resident. He is a member of the E-T's community columnists and can be reached at