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Opinion

The ‘lock her up’ movement against Hillary Clinton: a modern-day Salem witch trial?

Chris Christie speaks at the Republican National Convention
Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey speaks during the second day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland on Tuesday.
(Mark J. Terrill)

To the editor: I remember visiting Salem, Mass., and taking the “Witch City” tour, a look into the infamous witch trails that took place in 1692-93. Twenty people, almost all of them women, were put to death by hanging for the most part, the result of mass hysteria over the alleged demonic possession of certain individuals. (“The toxic politics of the ‘Lock her up’ movement against Hillary Clinton,” editorial, July 21)

Thank God, I thought, that such horror doesn’t happen today.

But when I heard New Jersey Gov. and former federal prosecutor Chris Christie goading the crowd at the Republican National Convention to yell “guilty” over presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s supposed indiscretions, and after an advisor to GOP nominee Donald Trump said Clinton should be shot for treason, I thought of the events that occurred in Salem more than 300 years ago. 

Mass hysteria is alive and well.

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Alba Farfaglia, San Clemente

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To the editor: The Times’ editorial board castigates Republican National Convention attendees in Cleveland for the tone of their “intemperate rhetoric” in calling for accountability for Clinton’s actions, even saying they “could hurt the country by making it harder for Republicans to work with her if she is elected.”

It’s interesting that The Times never questioned Clinton’s “pugnacious partisanship” when she was asked in a Democratic presidential debate last year who she was most proud to call her enemies and her response was “probably the Republicans.”

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Is The Times at all concerned that naming Republicans as her enemies might hurt the country by making it harder for her to work with them if she is elected? 

How convenient for The Times to fall on the side of the Democrats. 

James Willis, Oxnard

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To the editor: President Nixon ended the Vietnam war, opened relations with China and oversaw the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection agency — significant accomplishments all. Yet because of Watergate, Nixon was forced to resign.

Clinton has no record of accomplishment unless you count lining her own pockets and blundering in Libya, Syria and Russia. Then came the email scandal, for which there is no innocent explanation for purposely skirting the rules. It’s likely anyone else would have been indicted.

So as the GOP insults the nation with Trump, the Democrats are topping that by nominating a manifestly corrupt person. Imagine the rancor if the GOP nominated Nixon after Watergate.

Jim Bass, Thousand Oaks 

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To the editor: I am a political independent and do not participate in primaries or caucuses. I do follow the political scene, however, regarding domestic happenings as a form of entertainment. 

After all, presidential nominating conventions are the best displays of hyperbole and cynicism we are likely to see each quadrennium, and this year’s Republican circus in Cleveland was a delight. Where you rush to shake your editorial board’s finger at GOP excess, I see, well, excess, the kind I anticipate. 

In fact, I overstocked my larder with beer and chips this summer and am hoping for a double lollapalooza, as Democratic Party fantasies about conservatives rarely yield to a superior reality.

Where I fault Christie’s faux prosecution of Clinton is that he didn’t conduct it in the round, which would have been a much better show.

Paul Bloustein, Cincinnati

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