To the editor: In his column predicting that Donald Trump’s presidency will end badly because the president’s poor character assures it, Jonah Goldberg quotes Heraclitus: “A man’s character is his fate.”
President Trump does not have good character. This is exemplified in his betrayal of the Kurds in withdrawing U.S. forces from Syria, his belittling of members of Congress, his admiration of dictators, the insults directed at allies, the stirring of social discord, his narcissism and the chronic lying. To this list, much more could be added.
But what does Goldberg mean when he says that the Trump presidency will end poorly? Perhaps it means that Trump will be impeached or lose in 2020, but we do not know for sure. But we can be certain that history does not back up the claim that character determines success.
Jimmy Carter, possibly the least successful president of the modern era, was of the highest character. Other leaders who were despicable human beings succeeded splendidly. Goldberg does not know how the Trump presidency will end.
Jack Kaczorowski, Los Angeles
To the editor: While Goldberg eloquently makes the case that it is Trump’s character that has caused our sorry state of affairs, I would also like to add the shortcomings of many of our elected legislators.
They are our last hope for survival over the next two years. To the many definitions of character, I would also add patriotism as a requirement for those we elect.
After two years of the Trump administration, most of the sensible people who we hoped would keep the president from going off the rails have quit or were fired. The president started trade wars and demeaned the Federal Reserve. On the world stage, he pulled out of our agreements on climate change and Iran.
Trump has demeaned allies and embraced dictators. He has defended bigotry and promoted xenophobia.
I implore our elected officials in Washington to stand up for fairness, honesty, truth, and the rule of law, and against racism, impulsiveness and abuse of power. It is a matter of patriotism.
Michael Telerant, Los Angeles
To the editor: Goldberg’s Christmas column has much in it to agree with as well as to disagree with. One comment, though, straddled the divide, the quote from Heraclitus, which Goldberg translated as, “Man’s character is his fate.”
For Trump, that’s only half true. Trump’s character is turning out to be the fate of any number of his fellow humans.
To give only one example, consider the stranded parents separated from their children at our southern border; to give another, those children.
Joan Walston, Santa Monica
To the editor: Goldberg is correct about Trump’s character, but he fails to mention that most Republican leaders initially thought he was a terrible choice as their presidential nominee.
They knew that Trump had zero character, something he demonstrated over and over in the primaries. However, once their misfit was elected, Republicans in power bowed and scraped, pretending he suited them just fine.
So why, when their man has proved to be a disaster, both for the country and themselves, don’t they summon the guts to get rid of him?
Maralys Wills, Santa Ana
To the editor: Remember: Elect a clown, expect a circus.
Bob Seidler, Huntington Beach