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Letters to the Editor: Pedophilia-screaming Republicans need to be defeated, not understood

A protester holds a sign for QAnon during a rally.
A protester holds a sign for QAnon — a conspiracy theory falsely accusing Democrats of perpetuating, among other things, a pedophilia ring — during a rally for then-President Trump in Pennsylvania in 2018.
(Associated Press)
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To the editor: It was deeply satisfying to see Jean Guerrero’s op-ed column on the GOP’s misinformation project and its use of the pedophile trope. Satisfying, because it is high time we call out a misinformation project for what it has become: the mother tongue of the Republican Party, turned to the purpose of destroying democracy.

I don’t disagree with the role she ascribes to mental illness in all this, but I don’t know that we have the luxury of concerning ourselves with it; at least not over the short term, during which the fate of this democracy is apparently going to be decided.

What we can and must do, of course, is win politically. In other words, we must win over at least a few of the “duped” decent people to whom she refers (I too hope they exist).

We can’t do that with policy alone — no matter how brilliant it is, and no matter how much the GOP base might benefit from it. They haven’t noticed or don’t care that their own party no longer has any platform.

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What might work, and what we can and must do now anyway, is to continue what Guerrero has done here: to shine as much light as we can, 24/7, on the workings of the misinformation project and to say to the GOP base every day, “You are being lied to!” And we must back it up.

Steven Schechter, Thousand Oaks

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To the editor: Thank you, former President Trump, for being the lightning rod that has awakened and emboldened the paranoiac citizens of this country to give voice to the narrow-minded and deeply disturbed beliefs they hold about race, culture and much of humanity.

It’s not your fault, but I credit you nevertheless. Had you not so egregiously demonstrated your own shortcomings, with the validation of the office of the presidency of the United States, we might not have fully realized the depth of our divisions.

Now it’s out, and the work to counter such cynicism and disrespect is cut out for all people of genuine good will.

Dan Brumer, Encino

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To the editor: Though I understand and agree with Guerrero, I would like to see The Times and other media take a look at their editorial obligation not to exploit what I call “exploitive nonsense.” Granted, it may sell newspapers to those titillated by extreme, unsubstantiated fantasy, but it is still dangerous for several reasons.

First and foremost, the subject Guerrero describes (pedophilia) plays into the satanic myths perpetrated way back to the Celts, through our founding Pilgrims who believed in various forms of witchcraft, and up to the present day when there still seems to be a prurient interest in obscene forms of torture and “satanic” practices.

Therefore, I am strongly suggesting any specific reference to these kinds of obsessions not be named. “Inappropriate,” “unfounded” and “lurid” can justifiably take their place without using specific references that exploit the worst of our natures.

Beverly Lever, Calabasas

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