Letter: Woods is wrong about letters to the editor

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In his column last week, Steve Woods says “… a nasty and insidious pest is ramping up in Maine” (“Intentionally Unreasonable: Locust season is upon us”). He challenges us to curtail our American right to free speech because, in his opinion, letters to the editor are like “pesky creatures.” In fact, he disdains a typical LTE format used primarily by writers because of strict word-count policies. So, here’s my response, keeping to the same format he criticizes:

“I’m writing to Steve Woods because of his lack of knowledge about the Constitution’s free speech articulated in the First Amendment. I’ve never read Woods’ work or met this particular columnist, but I can’t believe any writer would ever advocate to stifle the right to access freedom of the press. In fact, Woods is an incredibly ineffective supporter of our First Amendment rights. I would rather not read any more of his intentionally unreasonable opinions.”

As an American citizen who values free speech, I intentionally believe that letters to the editor are missives, like doves, and they are deserving of our respect.

Juliana L’Heureux

  • Stevoe

    Really, mass produced political “letters to the editor” are like “doves?” Typically I’d follow-up with some clever and/or defensive brand of retort – or just move along without comment. But, in this case, all I can muster in response is; “doves?”

    • mainereason

      And here’s my response…poking fun at the letter writer, as you poke fun at LTE writers in general says a lot more about you than about the subject. It’s easy for failed wannabe politicians to complain about the broken system as if to justify their own shortfall but much, much harder to earn the respect of people who will willingly, and with heartfelt conviction put their name in public on behalf of you as a candidate, an issue or in opposition to either. Do LTE’s often follow a pattern, certainly, but it is a far far far leap to say they are meaningless. So dissapointed in your pessimism — especially when the political atmosphere is less hopeful each day. Having a friend write a letter in support of a local candidate–in the very same issue your article appeared in–does mean something to me, and to others. Is the system imperfect–yes. But to suggest that politicians no longer ‘earn’ the endorsement of their peers and neighbors shows how little your know–or care–about the political system I participate in.

      • Stevoe


        • mainereason

          Just a very broad brush you were painting with and a bit snarky. Politics is for most a thankless job, and certainly pays like one. Our state is essentially run by volunteers who do so because they care enough to get involved. To devote a column to mocking them and belittling their efforts, to me, seemed counterproductive…unless your goal is to get people to care even less about politics which kinda seems like a waste of time…