We received 34 letters to the editor this week and are publishing 27.
Of the 27, 11 are generally Democratic or progressive, two generally Republican or conservative, and 13 nonpartisan or other.
Of the seven letters that did not meet our guidelines — printed on this page every week — one was generally Democratic or progressive, two generally Republican or conservative, and four nonpartisan or other.
The Lincoln County News does not decline to print letters because of politics. We decline to print letters when the writers decline to participate in civil and respectful dialogue.
We do not want to reject letters. When we do, the angry people who write these letters often shift their anger from the subject of the letter to the editor. The editor wants nothing more than to open a letter and read a civil and respectful expression of opinion, whether Democratic, Republican, or other, and move it into the queue for publication.
If you want to criticize the president in a civil and respectful manner, with an argument about the merits of the president’s words or actions, be our guest. We publish letters critical of the president every week.
If you want to call the president names and rhetorically bash him and his supporters over the head with insults, you may prefer social media.
If you want to criticize the Democratic presidential candidate or the governor in a civil and respectful manner, with an argument about the merits of their words or actions, go ahead. We have published many of these letters.
If you want to spout conspiracy theories and racist garbage, again, you can find online forums that will welcome your contributions.
For both groups, why not consider a positive argument about your candidate rather than a negative argument about the other candidate?
This is the last week we will publish numbers on letters to the editor, at least for now. We started this experiment to refute the partisans who accuse us of bias in letter selection. We have made some gains, while others continue to believe what they want to believe.
When we rejected an anti-Trump letter this week, the writer called the editor a “good German” and compared him to the Germans complicit, through their silence, in the rise of Hitler and the Nazis.
In the writer’s mind, The Lincoln County News bears some level of responsibility for the president’s words and actions. We suppose this would make the newspaper quite popular with Trump supporters, if it were true.
However, we suspect many Trump supporters read that we rejected two of the four Republican letters this week and decided that we have a liberal bias. The writers whose letters we rejected this week have already informed us of their conclusions on this point.
We are moving on from writing about letters. We will publish the letters that meet the guidelines and will not publish the letters that do not meet the guidelines. We may sometimes make errors in judgment, but we will strive to apply the guidelines fairly, regardless of party.
Guidelines for letters to the editor
The Lincoln County News encourages civil and respectful dialogue on current events through letters to the editor.
The LCN does not allow name-calling, either of individuals or groups, and will not knowingly publish false or misleading information.
The LCN does not print correspondence between other parties, such as letters from constituents to politicians.
General letters of thanks are acceptable. For letters of thanks with lists of specific individuals or entities, contact the advertising department.
Please limit letters to 500 words. Each writer may submit only one letter per week.
The LCN reserves the right to edit letters for clarity and violations of the above guidelines, as well as to reject letters for any reason.
All submissions must include the writer’s name and town of residence. Submit letters by email to firstname.lastname@example.org (preferred), fax to 563-3127, or mail to P.O. Box 36, Damariscotta, ME 04543.