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Readers respond to 'Left-Right' page

Left? Right? Too divisive to read

It was disheartening to open the paper and see the editorial page divided into left and right. Aren't we supposed to be the reflection of what we want to see in the world? Do we truly want to be us vs. them? Will we ever reach towards one another for the good of mankind, or is it "My way" to the death? I am only supposing that right and left refers to political persuasion and not geographical location, as I get such a bad feeling looking at the divisiveness of the page that I won't read either side.

We are all Americans, left or right. As a public newspaper, you have the ability to effect opinions and lives. Please think of what you can do to create a bridge to a more harmonious union for your subscribers, rather than how you can widen the chasm between them to the benefit of political parties that don't really need your help.

-- Kat Ulrich



New format exactly what's wrong

I have to object to the new format of the opinion page. The prominent (and easily digestible) sectioning of the guest editorials into left and right is, in my view, a great example of what is wrong with political discourse in this country. As free news (and opinions masquerading as legitimate news) has proliferated online, it has become easy to filter out anything that challenges your world view. Everyone lives in an echo chamber of their own correctness and virtue these days. With ample reinforcement from our favored sources, we demonize those with whom we disagree.

One thing I've always loved about newspapers is they give you a little of everything and leave it up to you to decide. I beg you to rise above the cesspool of dime-a-dozen shouters online and publish informed, thoughtful, label-free opinions by professional journalists. I'll figure out what to do from there.

-- Amy Miller



New idea doesn't help discourse

I am offended by your classifying opinion columns as "Left" and "Right." A columnist's aim is to convince the reader of the validity of her or his argument. Editors should not be putting labels on writers before they have a chance to make their case. Do you think your readers can't figure out for ourselves which way Robert Reich's, Jonah Goldberg's, or any other op-ed columnist's views lean? Are there only two categories under which everyone's opinions fit?

Your latest brilliant idea in no way contributes to an exchange of ideas and opinions. It only furthers the divisiveness and "the other side" mentality that the media are encouraging with their idea of "fair and balanced" coverage. Placing columns in one or the other of only two categories is an insult to the writers AND the readers. We are intelligent enough to know that there are more than two black-white, either-or, left-right sides to any argument. Give us a chance to speak to, and listen to, each other, and keep your own opinions to yourselves.

-- Maggie Johnson



Readers can make own decisions

I am concerned that your new format for syndicated opinions -- Left and Right -- will turn out to be a blunt instrument.

An example: Jonah Goldberg's column today on artful editing of the news should be of interest to all. It is written in an even tone and the topic is a legitimate issue.

Yes, your new format makes it easier to watch the left discuss issues and the right bash Sen. Harry Reid and President Barack Obama. But the labeling is worrisome.

Why not just present the columnists as you are doing and omit the big headings? You won't be the only ones who understand why they are arranged like that.

-- Diane Pleninger



Editor's Note: The "Left-Right" page that debuted Tuesday is an expansion of the opinion section to include more views on national issues.