Opinion: Why you should write a letter to the editor

What I write in the Tacoma Ledger is controversial. Or so I’ve heard — third-hand — from people who work with me. If it’s true, I wouldn’t be surprised.

After all, everything is controversial these days. The day after the presidential election, we put a picture of President Trump on the cover with the headline, “Trump Wins” — because he did. Shortly afterward, we received an email not-so-kindly informing us that plastering Trump’s face all over campus was frightening and offensive and that we shouldn’t have done it. That’s something we disagree with, since the fact is he won and ignoring him won’t make him go away.

With conservative, democratic, and socialist writers all sharing their opinions, there’s bound to be something in here you take issue with. Even if you don’t, there’s got to be something around campus that you don’t like. Something in local, state or national politics that really ticks you off. Someone you can’t stand, but don’t want to explain why to their face.

Guess what? Something can be done about it!

You can — and should — write a letter to the editor. You can write whatever you want. As long as it isn’t blatantly offensive, we’ll publish it.

In a class I unfortunately had to drop because of an illness, my professor explained that when writing was developed in ancient Greece, many opposed this new technology. They feared that writing, being static, would prevent meaningful dialogue from ever occurring. Instead of speaking face to face, they worried, people would instead just write down their opinions without anyone challenging them.

Sadly, they weren’t completely off. I often feel like I’m just shouting into the ether. If you make your voice heard and open our minds to your point of view, the entire campus benefits, not just the Ledger staff.

Recently, a conversation with a coworker about an article I published led me to revise my position on heroin legalization. She brought up a point I had overlooked, which now seems obvious: if heroin were fully legalized, it would be much easier to access and abuse. And recently, someone sent a letter to the editor about that same article, which I thought was insightful and interesting. I’m not sure what I think any more, but that’s a good thing.

So please, write a letter to the editor. As long as it’s around 250 words and isn’t overtly rude or bigoted, we’ll print it.

 

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