Caldwell: Independent thought far more important than political party

By Mike Caldwell

My philosophy, as a journalist who strives to balance objectivity in news reporting with taking a stand on the editorial page, is to be somewhat of a “political chameleon.”

For all you smart alecks out there, no, that doesn’t mean that I turn shades of green or like to eat bugs.

What I mean is that, ideally, it should be difficult for someone to determine what political party I am part of because my stances on individual issues are based on personal beliefs and not on any party line.

My political “colors” aren’t reflective of anything but my own moral compass.

I’ve been called a liberal. I’ve been called a conservative. I’ve been called a left-wing nut job. I’ve heard the phrase right-wing whacko a few times.

I have been called a member of the liberal media and labeled a Ronald Reagan-wannabe.

And, you know what, I couldn’t be happier.

Sticks and stones may break my bones but partisan lines will never define me.

I’m not a Republican. I’m not a Democrat. I’m just an American.

I value my freedom of choice and freedom of thought far too much to ever allow one political party or the other to rule me.

Sure, I am registered as a member of one party — although that registrations has changed a few times over — but I certainly am no more beholden to one than I am the other.

In a general election, I have never voted a straight-party ticket in my life and don’t plan to start anytime soon. Elections should always be about weighing issues and judging individuals on their own merits.

Hopefully that will be the case as we approach the mid-term elections this fall.

Anyone who simply votes for one political party is not doing themselves, their country or our future justice.

For many Americans, their views probably fall somewhere in between the two polarized ends of the major parties or combine both a bit. Mine certainly do.

All issues should be judged on their own merits and not compared to other cases. Circumstances change and just because something wrong has been allowed in the past doesn’t mean similar behavior should be condoned again.

Do I flip-flop on issues? I don’t think so. I prefer judicious determinations based on facts and not being beholden to party lines.

Am I “correct” in all the stances I take? Probably not, because in many cases there is no right or wrong.

Will everyone always agree with me? Certainly not.

Can you rest assured that I have given any issue careful consideration and made up my own mind without being swayed by any political party or outside source, including the mainstream media? Absolutely.

My “political colors” may change but my passion to stand on my own and follow an internal moral compass never will.

Michael Caldwell is publisher of The Winchester Sun and Winchester Living magazine. He can be reached at (859) 759-0095 or by email at