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I have drafted a letter to the editor with encouragement from This diary.  If I can shape it up to be punchy and original enough, I think there is a good chance of getting published.  It is a small paper in a small community--and I am one-for-one, in that they published the only previous LTE I ever wrote.

I am still fearful about submitting as I run my own business in this small, overwhelmingly Republican community.  I can't afford to lose any customers.  I have tried, in the letter, to focus on one area--Romney's secrecy--and present it as a legitimate concern regardless of where the reader is in the political spectrum.  

I welcome input to make the letter more effective, and to scour it for phrases or perspective that would identify it as coming from a strong partisan--both because I want Republicans to take it seriously and get discouraged, and because I don't want to out myself.

And I hope, by posting this, to encourage others to write LTEs.  Gotta have something to do while waiting for next weekend's canvassing shift.  

Letter below the squiggly.  It's currently 661 words.

A Scary Candidate

Beyond the marketing done by political campaigns, how do we know how a candidate would govern?  In Mitt Romney’s case, little information is available.  We have no idea of his governing philosophy.  In telling different groups what he thinks they want to hear, Governor Romney has contradicted himself on every issue of concern to voters.

We cannot glean much from his past performance.  No details are available.  His company, Bain Capital, was famously secretive.  His tenure as governor is a dead end.  Email records were destroyed and his staff purchased the hard drives on their computers.  The Salt Lake Olympics?  Same story.  And as everyone knows, Mr. Romney has denied us the insight into his personal priorities and decision-making that we could learn from his tax returns.  No, Mr. Romney asks us to make do with a rather odd figure supplied by his accountant, and the admonition, “trust me!”

Mr. Romney’s secrecy makes Nixon look forthright.  Still, there are some things we can discern about him.  His so-called “gaffes” are revealing.  They are not a matter of poor word choice in the heat of enthusiasm.  No, Mr. Romney’s embarrassing moments are of a different kind.  They reveal the candidate’s unfamiliarity—I’ll say it straight, his ignorance—of areas such as the concerns of the middle class, education, foreign affairs, and intelligence.  

No candidate knows everything, of course.  Ignorance is partially compensated by choice of advisors.  Governor Romney has selected many of the same people who advised George W. Bush:  the neoconservatives who brought us elective war in the Middle East, and the economic advisors whose policies brought us to the brink of depression.  This tells us something.

There is one more thing we know.  Mr. Romney’s ignorance on key issues, after at least five years of running for President, tells us his priorities.  If the issues had any importance to him, he would have paid them some attention in those five years.  That he has not means they are, to him, inconsequential.  That’s scary.

Originally posted to political mutt on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 07:28 AM PDT.

Also republished by Bending the Buzz and North Carolina BLUE.

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Comment Preferences

  •  i'd go for a bit shorter (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    political mutt, highacidity

    made some cuts here and there. Also, I think the last 3 sentences could use a bit of wordsmithing.

    Beyond the marketing done by political campaigns, how do we know how a candidate would govern?  In Mitt Romney’s case, little information is available.  We have no idea of his governing philosophy. In telling different groups what he thinks they want to hear, Governor Romney has contradicted himself on every issue of concern to voters.

    We cannot glean much from his past performance.  No details are available.  His company, Bain Capital, was famously secretive.  His tenure After his tenure as governor is a dead end.  E, email records were destroyed and his staff purchased the hard drives on their computers.  The Salt Lake Olympics?  Same story.  And as everyone knows, Mr. Romney has denied us the insight into his personal priorities and decision-making that we could learn from his tax returns.  No, Mr. Romney asks us to make do with a rather odd figure supplied by his accountant, and the admonition, “trust me!”

    Mr. Romney’s secrecy makes Nixon look forthright.  Still, there are some things we can discern about him.  H his so-called “gaffes” are revealing.  They are not a matter of poor word choice in the heat of enthusiasm.  No, Mr. Romney’s embarrassing moments are of a different kind.  They reveal the candidate’s unfamiliarity—I’ll say it straight, his ignorance—of areas such as the concerns of the middle class, education, foreign affairs, and intelligence.  

    No candidate knows everything, of course.  Ignorance is partially compensated by choice of advisors.  Governor Romney has selected many of the same people who advised George W. Bush:  the neoconservatives who brought us elective war in the Middle East, Iraq and the economic advisors whose policies brought us to the brink of depression.  This tells us something.

    There is one more thing we know.  Mr. Romney’s ignorance on key issues, after at least five years of running for President, tells us his priorities.  If the issues had any importance to him, he would have paid them some attention in those five years.  That he has not means they are, to him, inconsequential.  That’s scary.

  •  Maybe add something… (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    political mutt

    … subtle, about how he isn't the choice a principled conservative should make.

    This is just a vague notion in my mind, to add this with a light touch, since that is your audience.

    Maybe I'll run this by my DH who's a professional communicator.

    Thanks for doing this! If every one of us in North Carolina BLUE wrote a letter… I see a project ahead!

    BBL…

  •  Be careful though (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    highacidity, political mutt

    You don't want to necessarily trigger a backlash, which we have been seeing at the Presidential Level. Maybe send it to the Charlotte Observer or Raleigh News and Observer? Those papers reach a far greater audience as well.

    But your letter looks solid. A pity that so few people care about his secrecy or lack of tax records.

  •  I just published your diary from the queue… (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    political mutt, distraught

    … and added an editor's note, not knowing it would be published as written by you! I didn't realize that would happen… my apologies.

  •  What is the newspaper? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    political mutt

    Does it like long letters, or a single, punch paragraph?  Is it looking for an intellectual argument or a "voice of the people" rant?  Hard to know how to edit without knowing the audience.

    •  They want short but will accept up to 300 words (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      highacidity

      I got the word count wrong before--forgot I had some notes up top.  The total with distraught's edits is now 263.

      I think they'll accept diverse styles, but that clear writing and a lot of punch for the word count are advantages.

  •  Glad my diary encouraged you to write a letter (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    political mutt

    Here are my comments:

    I liked your letter but I think that it is too long.  If you send it, the paper is likely to edit it down in a way that you might not like.

    I would stick to just one of the points you are making in the letter and leave it at that.  

    Here is my edit for what it is worth.  I have removed some of your text and have bolded what I have added:

    A Scary Candidate

    Beyond the marketing done by political campaigns, how do we know how a candidate would govern?  In Mitt Romney’s case, little information is available.  In telling different groups what he thinks they want to hear, Governor Romney has contradicted himself on every issue of concern to voters.

     Still, there are some things we can discern about him.  His so-called “gaffes” are revealing.  They are not a matter of poor word choice in the heat of enthusiasm.  No, Mr. Romney’s embarrassing moments are of a different kind.  They reveal the candidate’s unfamiliarity—I’ll say it straight, his ignorance—of areas such as the concerns of the middle class, education, foreign affairs, and intelligence.  

    No candidate knows everything, of course.  However,  Mr. Romney’s ignorance on key issues, that affect ordinary Americans , tells us his priorities.  If the issues had any importance to him, he would have paid them some attention in the five years he has run for President.  That he has not means they are, to him, inconsequential.  That’s scary.
    __
    I'd love to see you final letter and please let me know if it is published.

    Good luck.

    Night Cat

    •  Thank you. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      night cat

      I have been wrestling with that last paragraph all night--how to make the repeated use of "issues" into something more specific.  Your "that affect ordinary Americans" is perfect.

      And it has been eating at me that the paragraph about Bush advisors does introduce another subject.  My original point was "he hides everything, so we can't know much about him.  We know one thing--the things he doesn't know tell us he doesn't care."  

      Even though my paper carries letters longer than my original, I may do away with that paragraph as you suggest.  I think I'll keep the one on secrecy, though.

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