Letter from the Editor: Unite through Understanding

As someone who is 19 years old - most of the political discourse I have seen in my lifetime has been uncivil.

We live in a world where clear, unbiased information is hard to find. Distrust of the media is at an all time high and political tension is ever growing.  

I have heard accusations of “fake news,” international cooperation is not abundant, and there is little effort to “get along.” But above all, I see a lack of understanding.

This brings me to my goal as the editor for smerconish.com: to unite through understanding. We do not all have to share a similar background or identical beliefs, but that does not mean that we cannot understand each other's perspective. Maybe reading a different opinion, or seeing facts laid out in a new way, can promote open-mindedness. So when I look at a submission for the website I will be asking myself the following questions:

Does this piece uncover an underrepresented perspective?

Will it provoke readers to question their own beliefs?

Is this essay divisive and targeting? Or can it encourage respectful debate and conversation?

Can this inspire change?

This is not to say that submissions cannot be controversial; I am looking for the “out there ideas,” the strong opinions, and passionate writers. Yet, my ultimate goal is to encourage critical independent thought that help us understand one another and our various beliefs. With the 2020 election in sight, smerconish.com is a chance to have a place for critical political thinking that does not favor one side over the other.  This summer is the perfect opportunity to explore different ideologies and perspectives, to strengthen our own political opinions and strive for better understanding.

Neha Mukherjee, the new editor for smerconish.com, is a rising sophomore at Brown University. She is a Pre-Medical student concentrating in Political Science and has a profound interest in journalism. A recent graduate of the Episcopal Academy, she was born and raised in the Philadelphia suburbs.