Our Opinion: Letters to the editor are democracy in motion | Editorials


In the summertime of 1943, as World Warfare II raged, E.B. White wrote a small piece within the “Notes and Remark” part of the New Yorker journal on the that means of democracy. One merchandise on his listing of issues that described democracy was a letter to the editor.

We couldn’t agree extra. It’s as true in the present day because it was again in 1943 that the letters to the editor part of the opinion pages is {the marketplace} of concepts. The very act of placing your ideas in logical and readable order, preserving civil whilst you disagree and signing your identify to it one way or the other pushes letter-writers above the social media fray of offended opinions.

Current letters to the editor are like a cross-section of Berkshire considerations: a police chief flagging the necessity to put money into our youth; feedback on the brand new contours of the annual Josh Billings RunAground; reader reactions to Eagle columnists’ commentaries; impassioned dialogue of a residential tax exemption proposal in Stockbridge; reward for a Shakespeare within the Park manufacturing at The Frequent in Pittsfield.

The approaching days’ opinion pages may very nicely have a sequence of letters arguing the other sides of all these points. That’s the complete level. Everybody will get their say. No person has to agree with us. Everyone, nevertheless, has to make their argument in a civil method and signal their identify to it.

And officers is likely to be nicely served in the event that they learn the letters because the voice of the individuals. The controversial North Avenue redesign, the controversy over the place to accommodate Berkshire ladies inmates, the localized results of financial and political uncertainty — all have been addressed totally this summer time in letters to the editor. In the meantime, an enormous inflow of letters pertaining to a heated election season present a wholesome share of Berkshire voters are engaged with these pivotal races that can form the county’s future. It additionally demonstrates a citizenry prepared and keen to take up that nice democratic custom of civilly convincing their neighbors within the public sq.. Our leaders must be listening to these voices — particularly these searching for election or reelection to public workplace.

One kind of letter is a reminder that life in a small group can usually be totally different than life in different places: the letter of thanks. These easy thank-you notes for anyone who has helped the author out in a technique or one other, usually in some small manner that didn’t appear small to the author, are a reminder of how one ought to act and that life will not be at all times about rabid political arguments.

E.B. White wrote his essay virtually eight many years in the past. It’s simple sufficient to say it was a special time, however it’s a useful reminder of how we would nonetheless see ourselves mirrored within the thought of democracy.

“Democracy is the recurrent suspicion that greater than half of the persons are proper greater than half of the time,” he wrote. “It’s the feeling of privateness within the voting cubicles, the sensation of communion within the libraries, the sensation of vitality in every single place. Democracy is a letter to the editor. Democracy is the rating originally of the ninth. It’s an thought which hasn’t been disproved but, a tune the phrases of which haven’t gone unhealthy.”


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