Editorial Writing


I’ve read your pages for several weeks, and I believe I’ve acquired the knack of Times editorial writing. Herewith is my first attempt, inspired by your editorial (July 23), “A Tool for the Sandinistas.”

“The President must start dealing with the Afrikaaners more realistically, and he must accept the fact that their apartheid government is not going to change or be overthrown. Rather than harassing them ineffectively, the United States must reach an accommodation with the Afrikaaners. Let them have apartheid, as long as they do not export it beyond South Africa’s borders or allow foreign powers to use South African territory to threaten U.S. interests in southern Africa. The Afrikaaners, for all their racism, seem to realize that they can live with the United States. However distasteful we find it, we must come to the same rational conclusion. Only then can both governments resume the quiet diplomacy that is the only effective way of bringing peace and stability to southern Africa.”

As you can see, this neatly catches the tone, the syntax and the spirit of your editorial, and applies your analysis to a pressing issue on the international scene. I do good work, do I not?