Readers React: American democracy is mortally wounded, and it isn’t all Trump’s fault

President Trump addresses the annual American Farm Bureau Federation convention in New Orleans on Monday.
(Mandel Ngan / AFP/Getty Images)

To the editor: Doyle McManus’ optimistic piece on our resilient democracy is based on a narrow perspective that puts the blame of our dysfunctional government on President Trump while disregarding that damage to our democracy has been accumulating for decades.

Both Democrats and Republicans have contributed to the incoherent and disintegrative leadership that permeates American politics, resulting in the ideological intransigence that promotes partisanship and obstructs reason, cooperation and compromise.

Concentrating resistance efforts on defying an incompetent leader might delay catastrophes, but it distracts us from relevant issues such as education, income inequality, politicized courts, gerrymandering and more. Overlooking these vexing challenges will eventually thwart any attempt to preserve whatever is left of our democracy.


Berta Graciano-Buchman, Beverly Hills


To the editor: McManus’ optimistic column reassures us that the strength of our democracy is protecting us from a Trump autocracy.

But what about the credibility of the United States? Low as it might be right now, the world knows Trump does not represent our values. In other words, the world will forgive us.

Once Trump is gone, the new president (presumably one who doesn’t lie, is well-versed, reads, is collaborative and possesses integrity) will very quickly restore the credibility of the United States and the presidency.

The next president will have the opportunity to return rationality to foreign policy, repair our international relationships, restore the Paris climate accord, return civility to the White House, assure our friends and allies that we’re with them, and hold our adversaries accountable.

The world knows Trump is a damaged figurehead. Most world leaders are doing their best to work around Trump until he is gone. The United Nations General Assembly laughed at our president when he bragged about his accomplishments. They were laughing at Trump, not the United States.

William Goldman, Palos Verdes Estates

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