It was Carl Denham who once declared, famously, that “It was beauty killed the beast.”
In the same way, nothing matters more for a publication of news and opinion than its ideology, its intellectual outlook. A misguided outlook will prove debilitating, if not fatal.
A strong set of principles helps a publication steer true in good weather or bad.
Here’s FREE WHITEWATER’s ideological position, simply and confidently stated on this website’s About page:
Like many papers, the Gazette also has a set (ten in number) of editorial principles.
One may find them online. (See, subscription required, Our Views: 10 principles guide Gazette viewpoints.)
Of these principles, many are typical and laudable conservative ideals.
The first of the paper’s principles, however, is a debilitating one, an ideological albatross:
1. The Gazette supports economic development and policies that promote growth of small businesses and jobs. We oppose rules that unnecessarily impede business expansion.
A principle like this seems sensible to many, but it rests on a pro-business, rather than a free market, foundation.
These two foundations are not the same. A free-market position (in capital, labor, and goods) is impartial between big and small, young or old, new or tenured, and between races, religions, and genders.
The Gazette‘s pro-business position, by contrast, allows for support of insiders’ deals, favored players, and public subsidies for wealthy private interests, all in the name of supposed economic development.
No, and no again.
The most wide-reaching and efficient development comes from a market of voluntary transactions without public-private schemes bolstered with taxpayers’ earnings, without white-collar welfare, without crony capitalism, and without state capitalism.
A paper taking this position will shy from standing up to powerful market manipulators, in favor of getting along, fitting in, and being a supposed player in its community.
In fact, influential and scheming members of that paper’s community will ignore its advice, and ordinary readers will see that the paper hesitates in the face of powerful but greedy, market-manipulating interests.
Under the supposed principle of economic development, the Gazette‘s editorialist has supported – repeatedly – millions; in public money to a landowner for a park in the name of philanthropy, and offered excuses; for a bureaucrat’s lies and fumbling about a bus line for a multi-billion-dollar corporation.
It’s all ‘development,’ you see.
I’m a libertarian, and there was a time when Republicans and libertarians, conservatives and libertarians, were closer ideologically.
We haven’t changed; they did. They abandoned markets and limited government for development projects for their friends, at public expense.
They’re simply small-town versions of big-government conservatives. In Whitewater, many of these men have never met a white-collar welfare deal they wouldn’t support.
Deals, deals, deals – and always for their connected friends.
With the millions they’ve wasted in Whitewater, for example, we might have taken a portion and supported the truly needy, and returned an even larger remainder to taxpayers.
(I see that some of these deals were grants for a purpose, of course. That’s a greater shame, as the express terms of these grants have been ignored here, and they might have been of true and better use to other communities. Grab it or lose it is a glutton’s motto.)
As for the Gazette, their present concerns stem not from style, design, or tone, but from an ideological albatross that debilitates the paper with its readers and within its own community (as it would debilitate any paper in any community).