Letters to the Editor

Readers Join the Discourse

In the past two months, readers weighed in on prescription opioids, Taiwan, teachers unions and more

Image Credit: Gabriël Metsu, Dutch (1629–1667), “Man Writing a Letter” / Wikimedia Commons

The editorial staff of Discourse would like to thank our readers for engaging with our content and contributing their thoughts and opinions to the conversation. If you’d like to join the discourse, please submit your own letter to the editor, and we might feature it in a future post.

Chronic Pain Patients Criticize the CDC

Until the CDC guidelines came out (“Painful Consequences of Federal Prescription Guidelines”), I was on a high dose of pain medication and was living a fairly normal life. As soon as the guidelines came out, I was forced to taper off the pain medication I was on. I went from having quality of life to being bedridden for 20 hours a day. The CDC guidelines and the DEA ruined life for millions of chronic pain patients. The only way things can go back to normal is for the CDC guidelines to be taken away and the DEA told to stay away from doctors. The pendulum has swung in the wrong direction, and this has to end.

—Wren, Semmes, Ala.

Thank you for your article on the harms of the CDC guidelines to chronic pain patients (“Painful Consequences of Federal Prescription Guidelines”). We truly are suffering and don’t know where to turn anymore. Our lives are destroyed. Praying that your well-written article will have an impact to help begin the restoration of sanity.

—Michelle, Wellington, Fla.

Enlisting Philosophers to Help with Our Politics

Prof. Talisse’s article on democracy (“We Cannot Live Well by Politics Alone”) is worth reflection, though I was surprised to learn he taught philosophy. Why? Because he never mentions a philosopher who has helped us think on the issues he raises. [John] Dewey, [Hannah] Arendt, Danielle Allen and others are noteworthy omissions. Also, while I find interesting his defense of what some might call a “loyal opposition,” and his critique of the belligerent tone that plagues our politics is welcome, I could also use some real-life specifics of these thriving depoliticized spaces he extols. Otherwise, he leaves his readers with the commonly held prejudice against “politics.” The use of the term “politics “as something negative is a habit he exhibits, regrettably.

—George, Portland, Ore.

Is Taiwan Nationalist?

In Michael Puttré’s article on China and Taiwan (“Communist China Will Not Take Taiwan Unless the U.S. Allows It”), why does he use the term “Nationalist” regarding Taiwan so thoroughly? I agree to using this term in the context of Taiwan-China relations during the Cold War, up until the democratization of Taiwan. But I’m very sure any Taiwanese nowadays would object to commentators who refer to the whole population of the country as “nationalist” in the sense that he means.

He uses this term regarding today’s Taiwan, but the current administration is not nationalist. He also uses “nationalist forces” to talk about today’s Taiwanese defense forces, an army of a whole country, not of a political party after democratization. While I have enjoyed this article, I find the way it refers to Taiwan misleading.

—Chen

Not All Teachers Unions Are the Same

The Chicago Teachers Union (“Teacher Unions are Bad for Teachers. Here’s Why”) is not representative of all teachers unions. The United Federation of Teachers and the New York City teachers union have supported school openings with negotiated safety protocols. Some kids are in-person, some hybrid (both in-person and remote). More white students, by percentage, than Black students, by percentage, have chosen fully remote. Twenty percent of all students and school staff are tested weekly. Positive tests have resulted in frequent school closings. The union and the mayor just changed the protocols to reduce the number of schools closing due to positive tests. Generalizing to all teacher unions from the Chicago Teachers Union is sloppy journalism.

—Peter, N.Y.

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