Letters to the Editor: Joe Biden needs to go lower to beat Donald Trump

President Biden speaks at the White House on May 14.
President Biden speaks at the White House on May 14.
(Susan Walsh / Associated Press)

To the editor: In 2016, First Lady Michelle Obama famously said, “When they go low, we go high,” referring to Republican nominee Donald Trump’s bullying tactics during the presidential campaign. The catchphrase was a message for Democrats to behave differently than someone who treats others with disdain. (“Biden still trails Trump in the polls. His problem goes beyond inflation, Gaza and age,” Opinion, May 14)

Unfortunately, that’s a recipe for political suicide in the Trump era. To the MAGA minions, including many Republicans in Congress, civil discourse is a thing of the past.

Despite having a robust economy, the electorate, particularly in crucial swing states, seems unimpressed with President Biden’s accomplishments. A record of consequential legislation has done little to offset this lack of enthusiasm.


Can it be that “going low” is paying dividends? Trump is winning the messaging game. The time has come for the Biden camp to launch an overwhelming counteroffensive, highlighting the former president’s personal and professional failings, or risk losing in November.

Jim Paladino, Tampa, Fla.


To the editor: Please don’t confuse me for a Trump supporter. Not even close.

But Biden frightens me. Not in the chaotic, threatening way Trump does, but still. He seems to believe he is the best president since FDR but is leaving a trail of wreckage in foreign policy and domestic affairs.

In foreign affairs, he is always half in, half out, as with Israel and Ukraine. We have too many simmering domestic crises.

The expansion of presidential power continues apace, so much that Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s request for Biden to force lower grocery prices seems unexceptional. That he has managed to block any viable Democratic challengers to his reelection is frightening.

Biden’s speeches are rude and crude, often having a “make my day” or “get off my lawn” feeling to them. His selling point for reelection is a sad “I’m not Trump.” That’s not enough for me.


William N. Hoke, Manhattan Beach