I had a local gentleman ask me the other day if I’m embarrassed at the number of letters to the editor and other comments we received about my Electoral College column.
The column was published a few weeks ago and it generated six signed (and thus usable) letters to the editor, three unsigned letters, two emailed comments of disgust, and one (one!) emailed comment of agreement.
I was quick to assure the local gent that I welcome all letters. I don’t care what you call me as long as you call me.
Years ago there was an editorial writer up in Tennessee who always ended his editorial comments with this statement: “We don’t ask that you agree with us, only that you think about it.”
That pretty much sums up my feeling about editorials, columns, and other opinions in the paper or on our website. All six of the letters about the Electoral College that we printed in the paper or posted on the website contained some interesting ideas and opinions....some good thinking. I love nothing more than a civil discussion of opinions. (It’s depressing to me that times have changed and now you have to think hard about whether you really want to get involved in a political discussion.)
Something else: I commend all of the letter writers who signed their names to what they wrote. Take it from me, after 40+ years of newspaper work, I can testify that it’s not always easy to publicly attach your name to your opinion.
I sometimes read newspapers where the editor seems to feel compelled to add an editor’s note to each letter he publishes, offering a rebuttal or defending the newspaper’s position. I rarely do that. Very rarely. The few times I have, it has been because something was written that required a response, in the interest of fairness. Otherwise, my policy is: I had my say, now it’s your turn.
Write a letter to The Era-Leader. Be sure to sign it so I can verify it. Forget the Electoral College -- your letter can be about any local, state, or national topic of interest.