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Letters to the Editor: Road rage is up. Blame the pandemic and Trump

A driver displays a Trump flag at people marching in support of Breonna Taylor in Sherman Oaks in 2020.
A reader said former President Trump is partly to blame for the uptick in road rage incidents.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Although there is evidence that pandemic stress has led to a sharp rise in road rage, a more likely reason for people’s violent and abusive behavior is the former president’s attitude of disrespect and encouragement of aggression.

Recall his actions on the campaign trail, where he saw nothing wrong with mocking a disabled person or suggesting that supporters use physical violence on protestors at his rallies. When the president of the United States dismisses normal acts of decency and care for others, some take that as a green light to engage in the worst kind of activity.

I don’t blame Laguna Niguel resident Jordana Berzansky for her fear after being the target of recent road rage incidents. When you live in an area where hooligans — waving huge American flags and shouting epithets — drive like maniacs, you can’t help but wonder where normal behavior has gone.

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The former president has changed the common attitude of decency and respect to the lowest, worst form of group angst.

Paul Elder, Malibu

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To the editor: A couple of weeks ago in a Costco parking lot, my sister was loading her items into her car when a woman who wanted her space started honking and would not stop. My sister, a petite Asian woman, was doing her best to finish, but the woman got out of her car, came over and said that “her kind always goes slow on purpose.”

My sister was frightened but quickly finished up and started recording with her smartphone in case this woman became physically abusive. As my sister drove away, she noticed there was a child sitting in the woman’s car.

It’s not only on the freeways and streets that people are going ballistic. Being mindful of others does not guarantee one’s safety from those who feel entitled to vent their frustration and anger at others.

Cynthia Kokawa Lerner, Los Angeles


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