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Nixon was a great president — and Trump is exactly the leader we need now

Nixon was a great president — and Trump is exactly the leader we need now
President Richard Nixon appears at a news conference in Washington on April 29, 1971. (The Washington Post)

To the editor: Richard Nixon's legacy is larger than Watergate. ("Who's worse, Trump or Nixon?" Opinion, Feb. 5)

He revolutionized foreign relations and modern environmental regulations, and he even advanced women's rights. Most significantly, he established the petrodollar system, which set a foundation for the continuing U.S. dominance of the global economy for the last 45 years. He was a great man.

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Despite Donald Trump's many character flaws, he is the only president in the last 30 years who is not afraid to point out the fundamental problems our country is facing, which makes him a common enemy of the establishment. Our country needs honest, critical self-examination, not partisan attacks.

Victor Chang, Playa del Rey

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To the editor: David Rothkopf's op-ed article reflects my daily sense of dread. It questions whether our republic, which survived Nixon, will survive Trump.

I have spent my career studying and teaching about the Holocaust. I am not implying that there will be such a horrific event in the United States, but I am underscoring Rothkopf's argument that we voters must speak up so that what happened in Germany in the 1930s cannot ever happen here. We must remind ourselves that demagogues begin with popular support and slowly take power through their intimidation while discrediting the free press and bipartisan institutions.

Rothkopf reminds us that we still do not know whether the harm caused by Trump will be temporary or catastrophically permanent. Along with voters, decent politicians from both sides of the aisle must come together and speak up against the slow destruction of our democracy.

Barbara Jaffe, Los Angeles

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To the editor: What would be "catastrophic and enduring" is if Hillary Clinton had won the election, as most people expected. The Democrats would then have a majority on the Supreme Court.

Instead, Trump not only got elected but actually made good on his promise to nominate a conservative justice in Neil Gorsuch, who now anchors the late Antonin Scalia's old seat. The president's loyalty to the GOP position on tax incentives also has been a welcome surprise.

For those who believe big government provides the most dangerous road to tyranny, these two accomplishments alone do much to offset Trump's otherwise appalling behavior.

Patrick M. Dempsey, Granada Hills

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To the editor: Rothkopf's op-ed article says it all.

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From the very outset of Trump's campaign, I believed him to be unfit, unqualified and dangerous. I believe that even more today. This man has undermined and discredited the very tenants of the institutions of our democracy.

To this very day, Trump has not agreed with our intelligence agencies' assessment that Russia interfered with our election process and has not put into place any mechanisms to make sure future votes are conducted without interference. If this isn't dangerous, what is?

Trump also has undermined the agencies responsible for our environment, consumer protection laws and our public schools — and the list goes on.

Watergate was a blight on our democracy, but Trump is unraveling the very fabric of what our nation stands for.

Diane Welch, Cypress

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