To the editor: Bravo to Jonah Goldberg for overcoming his "healthy" fears of "snakes, sharks, and falling out of an airplane." Those fears are personal and not especially healthy. ("Faced with fear of a despotic government or apathy, I'll take fear," Opinion, March 14)
Downplaying FDR's exhortation to Americans to not be afraid in a period of deep worldwide depression and turmoil was irrelevant to Goldberg's plea that we should "cultivate understanding of each other's fears." Roosevelt was trying to keep America hopeful, just as President Obama was, when he took office in the middle of a desperate financial meltdown.
Of course we should try to understand one another better. But that does not mean we should deny our anger when we hear our leaders claim, for example, that climate change is an expensive hoax, that we must expel innocent people from our country, or that we should trust corporations to act in the public interest.
What we all should fear is the greed that feeds the political machinery of the Republicans now in power. It does not help that their leader is an impulsive, inexperienced businessman.
Richard Klinger, Sherman Oaks
To the editor: I do not fear President Trump or the GOP, but I am cautious about their policies. Fear silences reason and prompts us to act irrationally.
That Goldberg holds this as a conservative value is no surprise. This "value" is why we are bogged down in two wars, are contemplating building a useless wall and are still mired in impossible healthcare issues.
His ridicule of FDR's statement against fear says it all. Conservatives are afraid. Progressives fearlessly look to the future.
Francis X. Fashing, Palm Desert
To the editor: Fear imparts vital information, as Goldberg states, but he conveniently omits the rest of FDR's sentence: "nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance."
I agree with Goldberg, but I do not condone his use of partial quotations to make a point.
Richard R. McCurdy, Burbank