One Man’s Editorial Opinion
In his Letter to the Editor titled “An Hourly Worker’s Questions for the President”, Joseph Henderson makes a case against the optimistic views on job creation and growth discussed in the editorial “Reviving the American Working Class”. Although it is possibly very compelling at first glance, upon further inspection, Mr. Henderson’s opinion letter is either lacking several crucial components of a well-written Letter to the Editor, or has simply included them in an unintuitive order.
Joseph Henderson begins his letter by naming the editorial which he is referencing. While stating which specific work he is responding to, the author does not make any concrete statements regarding his personal stand on the matters discussed in the editorial. In addition to this, Mr. Henderson does not specifically and boldly object to anything right away, instead opting to convey to the reader personal experiences as an hourly worker and describes those in similar situations as him. In doing so, the reader is confident in the author’s credentials and expertise in the subject at hand.
Later on, Mr. Henderson does make an unambiguous claim, regarding the primary victims of a specific labor practice, as well as arguments in order to support said claim. What comes after, mentioning the monthly Labor Department job reports, could have been regarded as the objection and clarification, had they been in the beginning of his opinion letter. However, considering the logical flow of the letter, it seems to be more of slightly excessive evidence to support his earlier main claim. This trend continues until Mr. Henderson boldly and truthfully to himself states that the portrayed reality is not one that many could relate to.
The author offers the readers hope by proposing a solution, consisting of three specific questions, which are to be directed at the President in case the topic of job creation is publicly mentioned again.
Joseph Henderson concludes his opinion letter with a mix of vague rhetorical flourish, by referring to himself and others like him as “a working man”, as well as somewhat calls the readers to action with words of encouragement “… we as a people can do better than this”.
To sum up, despite lacking a clearly ordered objection and clarification, practically all of the other elements, most importantly an appeal to emotion backed up by credentials, of a well-written Letter to the Editor are present. Therefore, in spite of the insufficiencies, the opinion letter of Joseph Henderson still has the potential to be, and most likely is, very persuasive.