If I had to choose one word to describe the American people these days, it would be “angry.”
Twice in the past week, rage ruled public meetings in two different local communities, and we have seen other instances in other communities throughout the year.
I’ve noticed an uptick in our letter-writers criticizing other letter-writers, and then the first letter-writer writing back to rebut the second letter-writer, and so on. Our policy is to allow each person one shot at rebuttal in the letters column.
I’m sure I don’t even have to detail the total lack of civility we are seeing online.
We had an instance this past week in which nearly a dozen people commented angrily on a story that it appeared they could not have possibly read because they had no grasp of the facts.
The national political debate is obviously not going away, and it is trickling down into the local debate where people feel more emboldened to shout at each other in public, online and in print.
I think we all need anger management counseling.
New board member
Our editorial board is happy to welcome Bob Tatko of Granville as one of our three citizen representatives.
Bob is a businessman who is also active with the Pember Library and Museum. He will be serving on the board for the next four months.
Bob is the third generation of his family to be involved in the slate mining and quarrying in Granville. He currently runs his own business, involving the construction of large office/university buildings across the country using natural stone.
Bob is also the treasurer and a trustee at the Pember.
He is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire and is currently active with many local charities.
You may have noticed we are using a few more editor’s notes on our letters to the editor.
It used to be rare we did that. Our philosophy was to let the readers have their say and we took our lumps. When you use an editor’s note, it can appear you are trying to get in the last word.
What has changed is that incorrect information is often being used to support the conclusions of letters.
In many cases, we ask letter-writers to either provide the source of their facts or to rewrite the letters so the information is accurate.
Other times, we allow a criticism of the newspaper or a story, but try to provide the “why” behind it. We hope those explanations are helpful.