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Opinion

Readers React: Republican legislators won’t stand up to Trump as long as Republican voters favor authoritarianism

US-POLITICS-TRUMP
Supporters cheer for President Trump during a campaign rally in Houston on Oct. 22, 2018.
(Saul Loeb / AFP/Getty Images)

To the editor: Matt Welch argues passionately and persuasively that Republican legislators ought not to cede authority to the president. But he doesn’t touch on why they have lost their spines.

Polls consistently show strong support for the president among the one-third of the national electorate who vote Republican. So, to “poke the bear” raises the ire of their political constituency. If Republican legislators lose their support, they will certainly lose their seats.

The reasons people give for supporting President Trump vary, but at bottom, it seems that authoritarian government suits them. The GOP stresses obedience to authority and party loyalty. That approach gets Republican voters to the polls and, together with gerrymandering, wins elections despite a minority position.

If Welch wants Republican legislators to stand up to the president, he should try persuading Republican voters to shift their support away from Trump and his authoritarian rule.

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Eleanor Egan, Costa Mesa

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To the editor: So Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) believes that by voting again on the budget previously agreed to and overriding the likely presidential veto, Republican senators would be perceived as undercutting the president, and “if we undercut the president that’s the end of his presidency and the end of our party, and we deserve to be punished.”

Graham has forgotten about the last election. The longer this unnecessary shutdown drags on, and the more federal employees suffer financially, the more Republican voters will shift in 2020.

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Republican senators demonstrate again and again how they have lost touch with the citizens of this country. They violate their oaths of office by placing loyalty to the Republican Party over loyalty to the United States.

Judith Fenton, Playa Vista

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To the editor: The Republican Party needs a spine, as Welch points out. Even more, it needs a sound defeat at the polls in 2020.

The disastrous Trump presidency is the end result of the party’s major missteps on the issues of income inequality, taxation, immigration and infrastructure. The party that plays so loosely with facts will be forced to reexamine itself once it must come to grips with the fact that it is out of power.

David Hurwitz, Calabasas

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