While I admit I’m not a regular reader of The Forecaster’s editorial content, I did happen upon John Balentine’s column in the May 15 edition and wow! I was appalled. I realize that Mr. Balentine’s whole purpose may be to “trigger the libs,” but as someone who cares about and has taught the ethics of responsible journalism, I’d say you owe it to the community you serve to do better than this, to do better than Balentine.

If you’re any kind of editor, you already know that. Unless he once pulled you from a burning building, owns the newspaper or is holding your children hostage, I can’t imagine why you’d give him space on your editorial page. For candor, common sense and plain decency you might as well transcribe the ravings of your parakeet.

I’ve got a parakeet who knows better than to claim, as Balentine does, that plastic bags aren’t “bad for … the environment.” Or that regarding health care as a right doesn’t turn doctors and nurses into “slaves.” Balentine’s other pleadings are just as sorry: that liberals, in particular, are advocates of “communal living” and the sharing economy or that, somehow, having a nicely appointed kitchen disqualifies a person from being a champion of people Balentine calls “commoners.”

We’re lucky that our part of the world is teeming with good writers of all stripes. If The Forecaster wants to field a committed, persuasive, well educated, righteous conservative – or liberal – for its editorial page, why not hold a competition? Or why not contact one of our area’s writers’ organizations for nominees?

But unless he writes your paycheck or has your kids handcuffed in his basement, why settle for John Balentine? If you’re satisfied with him, I’ve got a parakeet who wants to talk to you.

Jeff Steinbrink
South Portland