Reader Mike Hondorp has an unusual request, aired this letter to the editor that we’re publishing in the print TNT Thursday morning. Here’s a sneak preview and a response I sent to Mike. Chime in and let us know what you think.
No More Political Preference Letters—Please!
Now that we have entered the political campaign season for national, state and local offices, I am dismayed to see that The News Tribune is printing letters to the Editor that reflect reader’s support for particular candidates. While I enjoy reading input from individuals about the issues and concerns of the day, I certainly do not care to read about another reader’s favorite candidate or political party.
I encourage The News Tribune to desist from printing letters that reflect personal preference towards a candidate or a party. Such letters add nothing of value to the Letters to the Editor section and probably alienate at least as many readers as may be encouraged by the reader’s personal opinion. When it comes to political opinions, The News Tribune can offer its own editorial views at election time. Otherwise, let your readers keep their political opinions to themselves.
Don’t you think that would be like taking the chili powder out of the chili? Gosh, the letters page would be pretty dull if readers weren’t allowed to sound off about the candidates or political parties – especially in an election year like this one.
I agree that letters that simply "I like Mike" or "I hate Hillary" don’t add much to the conversation. We try not to run simple "campaign" letters that don’t have much to say. But letters with a strong point of view and a clear point are the spice in the mix. Arguing and speaking up and disagreeing – preferably in a reasonably civil way – about who are best qualified to be our leaders is the very essence of democracy. I love it.
Editorial page editor