Opinion

Trump's presidency is an existential crisis for American democracy

To the editor: Aug. 15, 2017, is the day the game changed. (“Trump doubles down on his irresponsible, inexcusable comments about Charlottesville,” editorial, Aug. 15)

Before, our president had been the butt of late-night jokes. On Tuesday, he became a dangerous person. His emboldening of Nazi sympathizers should be a warning to us all.

There was a time when Americans were morally united. We sent our American brothers to fight against evil, and we became heroes because of it. Those days are gone.

Trump’s vague, wishy-washy attitude toward blatant hatred just changed the game. This is serious now. The Nazis are united and organizing, and we, the morally decent, the ones who have not forgotten history, need to be united and organized as well.

It’s time to get serious. This is no longer a joke.

Savange O’Coyle, Los Angeles

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To the editor: Trump’s statements on Tuesday were a 9/11-style attack on the soul of this country. For the first time in my 61 years, I fear for the future of our democracy and for my personal safety.

We must stop this dangerous demagogue before he irreparably endangers our national unity, moral standing and safety. Hundreds of thousands of good Americans will not have died in vain in the fight against racism, fascism and bigotry.

Michael A Goldstein, Redlands

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To the editor: Lawmakers and members of Trump’s Cabinet are at a moment in history when they must make a clear decision — whether to be patriots or to let their own selfish political interests lead to the ruin of our democracy.

This is a choice between standing firm with the values embodied in the Constitution and supported by the vast majority of decent American citizens, or deciding to allow the nation to be crippled by a president who disdains the rule of law and freedom of the press, who emboldens white supremacists and whose lack of empathy, whose hateful speech and whose bullying behavior go against our moral fiber.

The Republicans in Congress and in the president’s Cabinet either stand for this country or they do not. They must use Section 4 of the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump from office.

In the words of founding father Samuel Adams, “If ever time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.”

Michelle Gouldsberry, San Jose

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To the editor: During the campaign, Hillary Clinton was roundly criticized when she put some of Trump’s supporters into a “basket of deplorables.”

Well, here we are. And on Tuesday, Trump made it crystal clear that he reveres these people as part of his valued “base.”

The emperor definitely has no clothes, and the sooner this is realized by our entire country the better.

Stacey Cole, Lancaster

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To the editor: As an American and a Jew, I was not exactly thrilled to see racism and anti-Semitism “on parade” in Charlottesville, Va., this weekend.

However, as disgusting and abhorrent as their views may be, the so-called “alt-right” has a guaranteed right to peacefully protest, and people who oppose them also have a right to counter-protest. This is not the old Soviet Union or Communist China. This is America, and that’s how our country works.

Furthermore, no matter how disturbing or reprehensible someone’s opinions and beliefs may be, they cannot justify violence. Freedom of speech is, at times, a hard pill to swallow.

Rick Solomon, Lake Balboa

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To the editor: Trump’s narcissism knows no bounds.

After being pressured into explicitly condemning white supremacists on Monday, he fumed over it for a day and just couldn’t stomach the criticism. Then he let fly his rage on Tuesday.

Yes, he says, he was right all along — it was both sides that were to blame for the violence and hatred in Charlottesville. No matter that the white supremacists were carrying firearms, clubs, shields and helmets. No matter that they had military-style organization and communications. No matter that they were brandishing Nazi flags and symbols of a brutal regime that killed millions of people.

Those of us who were alive during the horrors of European fascism are appalled that Trump considers these animals only one of “many sides.” Shame on him.

Phil Kirk, Encinitas

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To the editor: That Trump would equate George Washington and Thomas Jefferson with Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson reveals a startling degree of ignorance.

While Washington and Jefferson did indeed own slaves and participated in an institution that was an integral part of the Southern aristocracy, Lee and Jackson were guilty of treason by virtue of helping the secessionist Confederation states.

His statements assaying equal blame at Charlottesville are beyond the pale.

Leonard Kass, Woodland Hills

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