Once again, we want to remind our letter writers to be civil to one another and to the subjects of their letters.
The attacks and diatribes and insults and name-calling are coming from across the political spectrum.
Many of late focus on our new president – both attacks on the president and attacks on his attackers.
There seems to be little interest in policy discussions when it comes to the president.
The decisions of the current administration will shape our country for years to come. Insults will not make those policies better, nor will insults of opponents of those policies make the policies more likely to succeed.
We do not endorse politicians. We are not taking a stance on any specific action of the new administration.
But we will uphold our commitment to civil discourse, even if sometimes we feel like we’re shouting into the wind.
We also want to restate and reinforce our ban on Hitler comparisons in letters to the editor.
To compare a modern U.S. politician of any persuasion to Hitler diminishes the atrocities of Hitler and the Nazis.
Many writers automatically reach for Hitler when they want to discredit a politician they dislike. Our previous president was the subject of similar comparisons.
(We would note that a letter in this edition mentions both the current president and the Nazis, but compares the current president to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, not the Nazis.)
We believe the best way to improve and strengthen our democracy is through civil discourse.
Here are some things we encourage you to do when you write us a letter:
Make a genuine attempt to understand the other side.
Write about a specific policy or proposal instead of an individual.
Use facts in your argument. Facebook memes are not facts. Not everything you see online is true. If your letter contains questionable claims, we will ask you to support those claims with reputable sources. If it contains false claims, we will not print it.
If all else fails, we might simply impose a temporary ban on all letters about national politics – maybe state politics too!
As this newspaper demonstrates every week, there is plenty going on in your community to write about and plenty of opportunities to make a difference right here.
Instead of writing us another letter about D.C., consider spending that time to make a difference right here.