My previous post—which I had expected to be the last one in the thread—now has a reply of sorts. This was posted earlier today:
I don't recall insulting you...but if you say I did...my apologies. I hereby withdraw from any further discussion...on this particular letter to the editor. My point was that you lecture us. You talk down to us. You patronize and you condescend. You truly must step back and look at yourself. Every time I see your name on the Op-Ed page, my first reaction is to cringe, because you seem so angry and impatient with those of us who don't "deserve" your approval.
I tried to let “goldenrule” have the last word, but I just couldn't resist:
I find it interesting that you don’t consider “arrogant,” “self-important,” and “proselytizing” to be insults. (Or, apparently, “lecture,” “patronize,”, and “condescend.”) I suppose stating that you know of better uses for my time was meant constructively? Were the “learned credentials,” “cretins,” and “deserving approval” cracks not meant to impute a sense of superiority to me? If you say that none of these remarks was meant to be insulting, however, then I will apologize to you.
Perhaps you should step back and take a look at the emotional overreaction you have to my letters. I am at a loss about this, and about the emotions you project onto me and my motivation. I simply endeavor to make a contribution to the public discussion that exists on the letters page; an impatient person would surely have already given up both on that discussion and on this one.
In the spirit of discussion, I take issue with your opinions that I "talk down" and "condescend" in my writing. If anything, the opposite is true. I assume that others are literate, cognitively capable, and possessed of an appropriate vocabulary and an adequate sense of history. I am surprised to see that, throughout all your verbiage, you have studiously avoided addressing the content of my letter.
Were you so busy cringing at the sight of my name that you neglected to read what I wrote? (Since names are published at the end of letters, I'm curious about the timing of your cringes. Do you read the letter first and then cringe after seeing my name, or do you read my name first and cringe before reading what I have written? Neither scenario paints a very flattering portrait.)
update: A follow-up post is here.