Editor’s note: The following letter is in response to a letter by Linda Smith of Tomah that appeared in the County Line’s April 30 issue. Smith was critical of County Line Publisher Emeritus Karen Parker’s “Backtalk” column.

By LARRY BALLWAHN | Wilton

Enclosed is a $38 check to cover a year of the Linda Smith subscription that you lost. Since you’ve never claimed to be anything but a liberal, left-leaning is a fair charge. “Far left, hate-filled and bitter” can be a claim only made by someone who watches the “fair and balanced” network regularly.

We must be willing to read and/or listen to views we don’t agree with and be willing to find a middle ground, compromise, and move forward. Most politics now consists of negative ads and “my way or the highway.” If instead of labeling “hate-filled and bitter,” we gave each other credit for honestly held beliefs, did our best to influence those who disagree with us, and then worked out an honest compromise, our politics and lives would be much better.

The $38 is my small attempt to support particularly thoughtful and well-written editorials. Even readers who disagree should find some benefit in determining specifically why they disagree.

Hopefully, it is not because they label you or your writing “far left, hate-filled and bitter.” You and they deserve better than that.