Today was enough. Maybe I just woke up in a bad mood. Something about the Editorials and Opinons page tipped me over the balance. So I wrote my last letter to the San Francisco Chronicle:
This isn't a letter for publication. This is my goodbye feedback.
I am a person who loves to read the letters. For many years now, when I sit down to breakfast, I go directly to the Bay Area section and turn to the letters and Opinions page. I like to feel connected to my community by hearing what they have to say. I would also like to contribute my own voice to the dialogue from time to time.
However, after recent frustration in the last couple of years, I've decided to call it quits with the Chronicle and here are my reasons why.
First, the Chronicle is deserving of a much better regular columnist than Debra Saunders. Ms. Saunders is a GOP shill who does not have many original thoughts about anything. I shudder everytime I read her predictable response to current events, almost a line per line recitation of GOP talking points. It would be understandable in a progressive community to want to include a balanced perspective, but the Bay Area deserves someone in that spot who is truly a thoughtful and articulate conservative who can actually stimulate rational debate rather than emotional, baiting and sometimes just plainly inarticulate ranting by Saunders. Done with her.
Second, I have written at least four letters to the editor myself over the years in response to someone else's letter or an opinion column, most recently a couple of weeks ago. Not selected as usual. Yet I've noticed a pattern of certain crotchety older writers whose rants constantly make it onto the letters page with short, irrational clips of anger or rigidity instead of something that adds to the discussion. Maybe I just don't get that the letters are now about entertainment instead of discussion? I know that I'm a decent writer since I have had four books published, the most recent one in March of this year. Done trying.
The only thing I'll miss is Cynthia Tucker's brilliant columns. She always hits it out of the park with her thoughtful progressive tone. On the bright side I can access her column online now whenever I want and I've established my own personal blog so I can enter the dialogue of the future.
The Chronicle deserves a better Editorial and Opinions section. It's sad to see such an American staple fading away.
I'm turning over a new leaf today. Out with the old, in with the new!