Writers should cite sources for letters
With the general election quickly approaching, I would like to present a challenge to your readers: references. You know, supporting information for a claim a writer makes in his/her letter for the editorial page.
Although a few years have passed since I did so regularly, I have written many letters to this paper. Most were published. Many included references where my statements were backed up. I did this for two reasons: first, they served as notes to refer to while I wrote the letters over a period of a few days. It enabled me to go straight to my source when I returned to my computer to write those letters. Second, it was a courtesy I provided to the editors, in case they actually wanted to check my claims.
It’s been said that one is entitled to his own opinions but not his own facts. With this in mind, I challenge your letter contributors to provide websites as reference material for any claims that are being made in their letters. I also challenge the Independent to include those links in the online postings of the letters.
Due diligence demands that we research our reasons for supporting a candidate or disliking another. It’s what’s best for our country. I doubt most do — and that’s their prerogative. But voting by emotion is not necessarily what’s best for anyone; it’s strictly catharsis. Catharsis is good — unless it results in people being hurt physically, emotionally or economically. So I challenge any future contributors to this forum to provide readers with as much information as possible for your claims. And I challenge the Maryland Independent to research the letters and to post the links you will hopefully include.
For those of you reading this letter, there will be no web links included in its online posting.
David Kanter, Hughesville