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Editorial: Mudslinging in West Virginia

The Journal of Martinsburg:

There is plenty of acrimony stemming from disagreement over the issues facing West Virginia state government without adding to it by making the arguments personal. Unfortunately, that has happened.

It may be impossible to discover who threw the first verbal stone, but clearly, relations between Gov. Jim Justice and Republican legislators have deteriorated to the point that personal dislike is affecting public policy.

We can’t afford that. Name calling and responding to it takes energy better used in finding solutions — which often require compromise that is more difficult when people dislike others at the same time they disagree with them.

A mere truce will not solve this. Verbal cease-fires tend to be broken.

What we need here is the equivalent of unconditional surrender by all sides in the war of words.

Disagreement is natural and, in a way, desirable. We do it all the time when we hear of proposals that may be bad for West Virginians. But the line between criticizing an idea and slinging mud at its originator has been crossed too many times during recent weeks.

People involved in politics don’t have to like each other. But they don’t have to hate each other, either.

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