I commend you on another fine article, Frank. Let me build upon Father Gannon’s metaphor and your rural Kentucky anecdote. A frustration comes into play when I board the bus, say something that is pleasant and courteous, but then I too often encounter stone-faced silence or an isolated scowl; this mostly happens when someone imagines me to be unworthy of courtesy and consideration because of the bumper-sticker stereotypical group to which I apparently belong. As a libertarian-conservative working in a fiercely liberal-progressive environment (i.e., a university campus), I board the bus each day with a smile and a kind word, but I do get weary of the scowls and silences. It is a tough bus ride, my friend. It is tough.
Frank, good post, and points well-made. I have found that applying absolutes when applying political labels can be especially misleading, in part, because the politics themselves are hardly absolute.Case in point: the part of West Texas where I live and work, which still contains a large number of “yellow dog Democrats” … Democrat by name and registration, but staunchly conservative in most matters.It demands careful consideration and analysis when preparing a story for the paper, and refraining from labels … but THAT is certainly NOT a bad thing.