You probably think this column is going to be about the civil unrest breaking out all over the Middle East. Wrong.
It's about the civil unrest breaking out in the Spencer Daily Reporter newsroom. And the unrest is mostly mine.
Apparently there are some out there who would love to see me silenced when I choose to share an opinion they disagree with in this column. I guess first amendment rights only belong to those who agree with your point of view.
Let me explain a couple of things. My opinion column is strictly that, MY opinion column. It in no way reflects the belief level of the paper nor have I ever suggested it does. If you have ever believed this paper is a conservative think tank, you would be dramatically wrong. A day in the newsroom would cure you of any such idea.
My column - on the opinion page - is often debated within the walls of the office at multiple levels, and disagreed with regularly I might add.
Do I ruffle feathers? Sure.
Do I talk about things people shouldn't discuss in social circles? Yes. I feel led to do that sometimes. Those of you who find the two of us on opposites of the political spectrum should not feel lonely; you are not alone.
So rather than send anonymous e-mails and unsigned letters, I encourage you to instead man-up (or woman-up as the case may be), write a letter to the editor challenging my perspective in a civil manner and then - here's the hard part - sign your name on it.
I'm not asking you to be silent as so many of you seem to think my keyboard should be. Instead I'm encouraging just the opposite. Be brave, be bold, share your thoughts in print for everyone else to see. I've run many letters from readers who take me to task or disagree with my "perspective" in general. That's what the paper is here for.
There will be some who agree with you, some who disagree with you, but hopefully there won't be any people out there like those I seem to face every once in a while, who believe you should keep your opinions to yourself.
It's the exchange of ideas, from both sides, which has lead to amazing things throughout history. Who knows what you and I might come up if we put our text together.
So what do you say folks? Let's agree to disagree sometimes. I'll respect your right to speak your mind and you respect mine.
I'm not trying to make you mad ... well maybe a bit, but I am looking to engage you to get involved in the discussion. Don't just share it over coffee at the cafe, or at the water cooler in the office; put a pen to paper, start clacking those keys.
I look forward to hearing from you. I mean that.