In the wake of the political conventions in Charlotte and Tampa, I got an inquiry today asking if Guideposts takes any political positions and if so, what are they? We take one very strong political position: no politics in Guideposts.
Why? Politics by its very nature is divisive and contentious. Guideposts has always strived to be upbeat and inclusive. It isn’t that our readers don’t have strong and varying political views. They certainly do. But they have let us know that they don’t turn to Guideposts to have those views supported or refuted. In fact, Guideposts is a respite from the vehemence and vitriol of contemporary public debate, which seems to have only gotten meaner in recent years.
We should remember, though, that politics has always been a bit of a blood sport. We tend to hold an idealized, perhaps even deluded view of our founding fathers as agreeable souls, whereas they were often at each others’ throats politically, occasionally trying to throw one another into prison and even resorting to dueling pistols. So I guess nasty political campaigns are nothing new.
Still, I think we expect better of our politicians on both sides. And deserve better. I watched the conventions. I thought Ann Romney and Michelle Obama kept their rhetoric fairly high-toned and dignified (is it time to have first husbands rather than first ladies?). And who wasn’t moved by Gabby Giffords reciting the Pledge of Allegiance? That was one of the moments that transcended partisanship.
Yet now that the campaign has begun in earnest I’m afraid so has the negativity. Which is exactly why Guideposts stays clear of politics. We have people of all political stripes in the magazine but never to discuss their views.
Maybe I’m being naive but I am going to say a prayer that this year’s election campaign is a little less negative and a lot more positive. If you want to join me, hit “like.”