Opinion

We get to vote in 2018. That doesn't mean we should stop protesting Trump

To the editor: I agree with Conor Friedersdorf that President Trump’s opponents should “focus their energy on the 2018 midterm election.” But he underestimates the power of protest. (“Let’s not make 2018 a year of protest,” Opinion, Dec. 27)

Yes, we need marchers, protesters, letter writers and loudmouths. All hands are needed on deck now in order to fight against Trump and his followers.

The January Women’s March events across the country will be the first and loudest protest of 2018. Other protests will follow in 2018, with increased voter registration and increased voter participation.

Protest is the preamble to restoring our democracy.

Susan Kogan, Oceanside

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To the editor: Anti-Trump protests in 2017 have been marginally effective at best. Friedersdorf’s proffered solution is enthusiastic involvement in the 2018 midterm elections. Good idea.

However, the ineffectiveness of progressives’ efforts at the ballot box can’t be attributed to voter apathy alone. Our political system stacks the cards against us. While American folklore credits our founding fathers with practically inventing democracy, several of the institutions they created are remarkably undemocratic, with catastrophic results today.

In 2016, the electoral college appointed the candidate who did not get the most votes as president. The Senate over-represents the residents of the most thinly populated states. Gerrymandering of political districts virtually ensures continuing dominance of the government by a minority.

Friedersdorf hopes, as do I, that a groundswell of public outrage will unseat the Republicans in the House and Senate in 2018, minimizing the damage Trump can do for the rest of his term. As satisfying as this will seem, it fixes only the symptom, not the problem.

Brian Masson, Harbor City

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To the editor: I take issue with Friedersdorf’s point that making street protests a priority in 2018 would be a mistake.

The Women’s March last January was a galvanizing event for women of all ages and backgrounds. As someone who drove two hours to Los Angeles to participate, I know from that experience that many women decided to run for their city councils or Congress because they protested. They realized that politics is the leveraging of power and that women are stronger together.

Now women are more than ready to support other women running for political office for the first time. Given that two hot issues are global warming and healthcare, it’s not surprising that women in science and medicine — who were apolitical before Trump — will now be among those running for office.

Lois Phillips, Santa Barbara

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