Try to get an honest answer


There’s an easy test to see if someone is blinded by bias or if they’re giving you an honest analysis. Ask a Republican two questions: “Can you name three things Obama did well?” and “Can you name three things Trump has done poorly?” You can ask the Democrat the same two questions but in reverse. If the person is able to list just a few things that the opposing president has done well and party president has done poorly, they’re likely being honest in their analysis. If they can’t think of a single thing, then they’re just blinded by bias and don’t have an opinion to be valued highly. They’re relying on team sports politics and bias rather than an honest evaluation of the situation.

We can apply this same concept to the merger of Lewiston and Auburn.

Ask an anti-merger person “What are three good things that could come of the merger?”; and ask a pro-merger person “What are three bad things that could happen with the merger?”

Pro-merger folks are typically able to honestly lay out the potential challenges with the merger: long transition period, cohesion of ordinances, long term investment with work up front, etc. I haven’t seen the inverse, anti-merger folks able to list things that they think would be positive from the merger.

That is like a Democrat who couldn’t name a single thing Obama did that they didn’t like — it screams bias, rooted in feelings and gut rather than statistics, numbers or data.

James Ayotte, Auburn