If you are a regular reader of the letters to the editor, it should come as no surprise that the most frequently addressed topic is our president, Donald Trump. All other topics were a weak second place until COVID-19 showed up last spring.
As a regular reader, you also probably realized some time ago that the same writers’ names keep popping up repeatedly. Only with the virus did a bunch of new writers suddenly appear in these pages.
Here is why my name is not among them.
First of all, with plenty of others writing in approval or disapproval of Trump’s words or actions, there is little need for me to say anything. And I have friends on both sides I would like to keep.
Second, a lot of these letters are from people who are obviously active members of the two major political parties who are lobbing editorial missiles at each other. Since I am not politically active, that leaves me out.
Third, these days most young people write this stuff as a Facebook post. I personally know several of the people who write letters to the editor and they are OLD! God forbid you should get the idea that I am one of them.
Which brings me to one point: Why do the same people keep writing roughly the same letters (which say basically the same thing) over and over? There are a bit more than a dozen people who write a letter almost every month. Before the virus, these people accounted for 20 percent of the writers but probably 60 percent of the letters.
The one positive of COVID is that it resulted in a lot of new people stuck at home with nothing to do but write letters to the editor. And some of these people actually wrote about something other than Trump.
To be fair, there are some very intelligent people presenting well-supported opinions in their letters. But looking at a lot of the letters in hopes of finding new or useful information can be like trying to pan for gold. You have to sift through a lot of useless gravel to find one nugget.
On the other hand, the Herald-Republic needs content, and these wonderful writers are willing to take time out of their busy schedules to provide the newspaper with content, free of charge.
President Trump will soon be a former president. The vaccines are arriving and eventually the work-at-homes will return to being work-at-works. The responsibility of providing letters to the editor will fall back on the typewriters of the old guard.
So go ahead Pink, Don, Walt, Sue, Jeffrey and the rest of you. Dust off your Smith Corona typewriters and keep those letters coming.
Now that I think about it, maybe even I could come up with something to send to the editor … oops. I think I just did.