To the editor: I am thoroughly disgusted with the presidential campaign this year. The dominant theme of both the Republican and Democratic candidates is "Vote for me because my opponent is so terrible." Both campaign teams excel at producing the ugliest possible personal portrait of their opponent. There is very little substance to either campaign. ("Trump vehemently denies a raft of sex assault allegations, but will it be enough to save his campaign?" Oct. 13)
The media share a large part of the blame for this outcome. They have sensationalized the claims of each campaign and independently gone even further to search out more personally damaging material. Very little effort seems to have been made to honestly analyze the positions of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump and the implications of those ideas for the country.
If this is the best we can do in terms of process and the candidates it produces, we deserve what we get.
Alan Baker, Westlake Village
To the editor: Like many of my fellow Canadians, I have connections to the United States. My grandfather was in reform school with Babe Ruth, and tales of my father at Coney Island colored my childhood.
There is a stereotype of Americans as arrogant, loud, rude and crude with an air of superiority hiding a deep insecurity. You and I know it's not true, but others don't and I repeatedly defend you to the rest of the world when traveling.
Now comes news that you might elect a man to be your leader who fits the "ugly American"stereotype like a glove. Say it isn't so. If American voters end up electing this man as president, my work defending you to my fellow Canadians and the rest of the world may never end.
This election, please think of your northerly neighbors. Please choose a leader the world can be proud of and allow this humble Canadian to take a break from assuring the people around me that "they are not all like that."
Colin Baur, Victoria, Canada
To the editor: Trump is toast. He will be decisively rejected by a majority of voters who are repulsed by his vision for America.
Contrary to his protestations, he will not be undone by the liberal press, nor by a "rigged" election system that exists only in his mind, nor by any vast left-wing conspiracy. The cause of his defeat will be his own unhinged behavior.
However, Trump will not graciously leave the national stage in defeat as his predecessors have. He finds ego-inflating nourishment in the limelight — or, more accurately, the slimelight. No, he will be lurking around the fringes of our political system, always a threat. Hopefully, the nation will move on, bored by the whole embarrassing spectacle.
Frederick Miller, Los Angeles
To the editor: How many people and businesses rely on conflict to generate profits?
The wonderful world of media has eclipsed the military-industrial complex as the biggest threat to our democracy. Trump's Breitbart-driven presidential campaign is blowing up everything it touches, not out of sincere conviction but for profit. It is enabled by the rest of the media for the same reason.
How long can we sustain a democratic government that relies on fact-based, respectful policy debate to function while allowing conflict-generating enterprises to undermine facts, respect and honest policy debate? How do we protect essential freedom of the press while fending off profit-mongering arsonists?
Linda Kranen, Carlsbad