It's called the opinion page for a reason


August 11, 2022

To The Eagle:

“If folks want to announce how they feel,” said the man, “let them do so in a paid ad, not a letter to the editor. They can print and mail their own broadsheet to county residents.” What condescending claptrap. This is a small local newspaper, not the Scientific American magazine. Most contributors write from the heart, not from a peer reviewed database.

Such ‘educated elites’ might opine that we rural bumpkins are better seen than heard. Our loggers, farmers, ranchers and fishermen, homemakers, local professionals, minimum wage workers and retirees may not be inclined, or financially able, to “print their own broadsheets” but they possess strong, valid opinions regarding how they ‘feel’ about issues affecting them.

To have valued facts at the expense of such feelings has caused the cataclysmic backlash now endangering Democratic politicians and the logic of their liberal values and policies. Misinformation may indeed “spread hysteria, fear and mistrust,” but ignorance, delusion and ‘feelings’ devoid of facts are the very stuff of our religions, moralities, prejudices, biases, conspiracy theories, and political bloviations. Behold our freedom of thought and speech in all their tarnished glory.

Deny people’s ‘feelings’ and their opinions based upon them, deny their free, imperfect expression in print, and you deny the basic dignity inherent in anyone’s expression of an opinion, whether grounded upon truth or error, rightly or wrongly. Editorial policy already filters the worse egregious nonsense. Plenty still gets printed. It’s called the ‘opinion page’ for a reason.

JB Bouchard

Puget Island


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