Letters to the Editor: Joe Biden will be our Harry Truman -- disliked in his day, vindicated by history

Former President Harry Truman speaks in London while holding up his hand.
Former President Harry Truman speaks in London in 1956.
(Hulton Deutsch / Corbis via Getty Images)

To the editor: Columnist Jackie Calmes’ description of our 46th president brings to mind another plain-spoken man whose actions and talents far exceeded his rhetoric. That was our 33rd president, Harry Truman.

Like President Biden, Truman was criticized for lacking the charisma of his predecessors, but he fought a do-nothing Congress and made the major decisions that put America on the road to becoming a superpower and the world’s strongest democracy.

Biden’s task is no less essential than Truman’s. Working with the slimmest majorities in Congress and under constant attack by the far-right, he was able to pass legislation to prevent a COVID recession and enact the biggest infrastructure bill in a generation.


There is more to be done on voting rights, gun control, the Supreme Court and ending the Senate filibuster. If Biden is there or not to proceed on these issues, he should be credited for putting us on the right path. Like Truman, Biden’s legacy will not be fully appreciated until historians get to it in the future.

Michael Telerant, Los Angeles


To the editor: I disagree completely with Calmes. Not only should Biden decline to run for reelection, but everyone in Congress or seeking to run for president of a similar age should also retire.

We as a democracy need young blood in Congress — people with new and innovative ideas, people in touch with the younger generation, people who can reach across the aisle and make agreements that are good for the country.

There is too much bad blood and super-inflated egos in national leadership. The status quo needs a complete overhaul so we can save democracy and the planet.

Vicki Rupasinghe, Ojai



To the editor: My own age and politics nestle between those of Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Hence, I claim experience in the matter of octogenarian competence and mental durability.

For those who endure the vicissitudes of aging and have long made major critical judgments and decisions, the loss of physical energy has likely greater significance than slowing mental processes. The latter might conceivably sharpen.

Biden’s decision about running again will be a rational one and will account for his health then and the nation’s best interests.

Now, can we please return to the belly gazing as to whether Gov. Gavin Newsom will run for president in 2024?

Spencer Le Gate, Sacramento


To the editor: Americans tend to vote for the person they like the most. Biden should be applauded for getting so much done in two years, but his poor approval numbers are mostly personal, reflecting his stumbles, gaffes and age.

I voted for Biden and would do so again, but it’s time for the president to pass the torch. He has dutifully served this country for half a century and deserves a peaceful retirement.

Mark McIntyre, Los Angeles