Who are you talking to? Part 1

I just stopped reading an editorial provocatively entitled, "You will lose your private health insurance." (http://bit.ly/7wlpwQ) I thought it might help clarify what precisely is being debated in the House and Senate these days on health care.

But I stopped when I hit this line, "Of course the left will accept restrictions on funding for abortion, because they want to keep moderate Democrats on board for the goal they know is really important: giving the government a dominant role in health care."

Why did I stop here? Because this sentence revealed precisely who the article was targeted at, and it wasn't me. By trotting out "the left" as the other, the opinion piece reveals its true purpose, to convince those on "the right" that the bill will do horrible things.

I am open to argument based on fact. I am not open to argument based on political position. I don't care if a good idea comes from "the left" or "the right," only that it's a good idea that seems to address the factual circumstances of a situation. Trotting out "the left" as a straw dog simply tells me that you aren't interested in factual conversation, but emotional conversation, and that I can better get from those I trust and care about, and that generally doesn't include partisan hacks.

So, when it becomes your turn to compose and opinion piece, be aware that I'm not the only one to parse writing along the fault line of fact vs. position. If it's your intention to only address the partisan state of affairs, that's fine. Just don't expect me to take you seriously, and don't be surprised when I automatically dismiss your arguments as being invalid time-wasters. Because as soon as you fall into that category, you fall into the dreaded category of: "There is no monster more to be feared than a communicative man having nothing to communicate."