LETTER: Letter writers: What do you hope to accomplish?
A big amen to Jim Ingraham’s letter on ways to improve the quality of letters to the editor. He hits the nail on the head when he asks for documentation and civility. On the latter, may I go a step further and suggest that writers ask themselves what they hope to accomplish when expressing their opinions.
If they really want to influence others’ thinking, I don’t think insulting them works. If anything, it escalates the conflict, hardens the opposing points of view, and nothing is accomplished. Blowing off steam, or gushing emotions, as Jim puts it, has its place, but that is not productive in the public forum.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
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