Dear Republicans, I'll try to use better rhetoric

Posted 5/19/22

To the editor:

Mea “Gulpa!” Authors of three published letters have criticized three of my recent letters to the editor. I thank all readers. One writer called me out regarding …

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Dear Republicans, I'll try to use better rhetoric

Posted

To the editor:

Mea “Gulpa!” Authors of three published letters have criticized three of my recent letters to the editor. I thank all readers. One writer called me out regarding critical race theory and my assertion that it is not being taught in our public schools. His critique was correct, in that I failed to write, for example, “…except, perhaps, in a passing reference by a teacher or mentioned in some school library book not yet banned by the puritans among us.” I apologize.  

Another writer challenged a letter in which I wrote about the Republican assault on women’s rights. I agree with him that the sexual peccadilloes of elected Democrats should be condemned (I applaud Donald Trump, by the way, as he at least had the generosity to provide hush money). My point, however, was not about politicians’ individual moral failings; my letter was about GOP policies counter to the rights, privacy, liberty, and best interests of women. I should have been more explicit. [Note that not one of the 50 Republican Senators voted recently to make Roe v. Wade a permanent part of federal law.]

A third writer seemed to feel that my letters are lengthy word salads with no substance. He may well be right. I know that I’m not in the league of our best political wordsmiths, nor do I have the gift of rhetorical flourishes that have given us such memorable phrases over the years, including ‘Stay the course’ or ‘Where’s the beef?’ or ‘Drill, baby, drill’ or ‘Four more Years!’ or ‘Get ‘em outta here!’  I have more to learn, no doubt, about purpose and clarity in my writing, at least for some readers.

Will Newman

Tiverton

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