Readers React: President Trump is the political gods’ punishment for Democratic hubris

Protesters take part in a march in downtown Los Angeles on June 30 against the separation of immigrant families.
(Mark Ralston / AFP/Getty Images)

To the editor: Gustavo Arellano’s column, “Democrats in power always overplay their hand,” expresses well the left’s downfall by focusing on the recall of state Sen. Josh Newman (D-Fullerton) and the November ballot initiative to repeal the new vehicle license fees and gas tax increase passed by California’s Democratic legislators. Arellano exposes these lawmakers’ hubris, which the ancient Greeks defined as excessive pride that invites punishment by the gods.

This seems to be the story with the Democratic left nationally. During President Obama’s two terms in office, they could not settle for substantial gain but attempted to annihilate their opponents.

They could not tolerate a Christian baker refusing to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. Students at universities had to be ridiculously shielded from unwanted views. Speakers espousing conservative views had to be shouted down. Roman Catholic hospitals that did not want to provide free contraception had to be challenged.


As the ancient Greeks would say, the gods were harsh. The left’s punishment was not merely political adjustment, but also President Trump.

Jack Kaczorowski, Los Angeles


To the editor: Arellano’s column about the overconfidence of California Democrats was interesting and thought-provoking. It was correct on many points, especially with past issues such as Senate Bill 60, allowing the undocumented to be issued driver’s licenses, as well as busing controversies and housing act provisions from decades ago.

Maybe I’m missing something, but nowhere in the column was any mention of funding the repair of infrastructure or highway construction other than the gas tax hike in question. The idea got a “fair enough,” but no alternative to the gas tax was offered.

I applaud the concession that Democrats are always on the right side of history. So what precisely would we have Democrats, or any other officials interested in improving our roadways, do? Maybe the voters who reject such plans are to blame.

Matthew Reynolds, North Hollywood


To the editor: My Republican friends and I hope the L.A. Times will continue to publish Arellano’s columns. Each time one of his pieces appears, Republican stock goes up.

In his latest column, Arellano warns Democrats not to insult the electorate too much lest it wake up us stupid, silly Republicans. He says California Democrats’ overreaching keeps Republicans relevant and allows them to “make life miserable for the rest of us.” (What, by doing things like opposing the gas tax increase?)

With critics like Arellano, Republicans can apply the quote often attributed to Napoleon Bonaparte: Never interfere with the enemy when he is in the process of destroying himself.

Jeff Ludecke, Alhambra


To the editor: Democrats are “stoned with power” because they raised the gas tax? And the gas tax is a scheme with the “ostensible” purpose of fixing highways?

Apparently Arellano concurs with the Republicans that pollution and climate change are no big deal. They seem to feel that the fossil fuel industry should not pay its fair share for the damage it has caused.

I understand the repercussions of pollution and climate change, and I understand that taxes can be used to change consumption patterns for the better. If that makes me a “card-carrying leftist” who imposes “diktats” on polluters and climate-change deniers, then I accept Arellano’s insults.

Scott Peer, Glendale

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