Letter to the Editor: On Soapboxes and Letters to the Editor

Overdue is an expression of appreciation to the Peninsula Pulse’s editors for policies that support letters to the editor. After soapboxes, letters are one of the longest-standing forms of unfettered communication, public discussion and debate by “ordinary” members of our community. Through these letters we learn, are made aware of acts of kindness that otherwise might be lost, make judgments about shared values and resolving differences.

Soapboxes being in short supply, publishing letters gives us – the sometimes pleased, sometimes disgruntled – the rare opportunity to speak and hopefully be heard, because in the Wisconsin Legislature, political listening is selective, and some speech through citizen referenda is under attack (Wisconsin Assembly Bill 245: See the May 19, 2023, Pulse letter by Mike Brodd).

In a recent push poll, masquerading as an “official” opinion survey, “listening” is achieved through biased and leading questions that are simply trying to “push” us to adopt unfavorable opinions of political opponents or positions. That is manipulating, not listening! It is being used to justify partisan policies, and it is monopolizing the conversation.

So, we take to the Peninsula Pulse to express appreciation. We write about preserving democracy, our disgust for our gerrymandered state, repealing Wisconsin’s 1849 ban on abortions, humiliation that Wisconsin is ranked the worst state in America for Black Americans, and other issues that fight to be heard and are omitted from the Official 2023 Spring Survey push poll.

Letters are a unique forum to express thanks and a check on bully pulpits and disingenuous political dialogue. Thanks to the Peninsula Pulse and our letter-writing community. Write on.

Norman J. Wilsman
Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin