LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

 

mail-box-full-colorDear Sir:

You have published two letters that are antagonistic to the legacy of Thomas Jefferson’s “marketplace of ideas.” One was in February by Randy Kent and the other in March by Michael Winslow.

Instead of interactively deciding which pages of El Ojo del Lago to read or to ignore, Michael Winslow stated a preference for the passivity of watching TV: “When and if I want political updates or satire, I can watch television and select the ‘slant’ of my choice, not yours”—[probably the “fair and balanced” Fox News]. This indicates that his TV channel is pre-selected in order to avoid any harmful surprises. At least it proves that the pen is mightier than the TV.

Randy Kent judged the word “drivel” to be his best choice for political articles published in El Ojo del Lago. Maybe drooling saliva from the mouth is his idea of poetic imagery, but it is ad hominem and serves no purpose of reasonable discourse.

Since Kent and Winslow can avoid reading what they personally don’t like, it’s clear that their real purpose is to protect your readers from dangerous ideas. Their letters were an attempt to pressure the editor of El Ojo del Lago into the mental depravity of censorship, the ancient ally of conservatives and inquisitors.

For those of us who are alert to our civilization, politics is the ceaseless fascination that defines life. Politics provides schools for children as well as for doctors. Politics maintains order with a legal system, builds roads and bridges and organizes our national defense. And the best of politics provides us with leaders who can inspire and define our national values.

The quality of these efforts, and the policies that guide them, should be the daily concern of every citizen, and therefore deserve space in El Ojo del Lago.

Kent and Winslow cannot be the first lobbyists to try to set your editorial policies for the English-speaking community. You deserve congratulations for making available a forum for Jefferson’s “marketplace of ideas.” This metaphor means that we can shop for ideas on a competitive basis and select the ones that seem best. Kent and Winslow are free to reject ideas for themselves, but they must not hide merchandise from the purview of other shoppers.

Signed:

Fred Mittag

Villas de San Pablo 

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