To the editor: I implore the Commission on Presidential Debates to not subject the American people to a third contentious conflict. ("After a mediocre debate performance, Trump still faces an uphill climb," Oct. 9)
These have not been debates; there has been no civility, no decorum and no regard for the rules of "debate." And they most certainly have not been "presidential"; if anything they mock and denigrate the respect and dignity of that office.
If voters, after 15 months of watching Republican nominee Donald Trump self-implode, remain undecided as to which candidate belongs in the Oval Office and which in a padded cell, a third debate won't resolve their angst.
This man has caused irreparable damage to the very fabric of America by driving a wedge between heretofore peacefully coexisting factions. Not since the Civil War has this nation been so polarized. Never in my 79 years have I been more embarrassed to be an American.
R. Harrison Temkin, Santa Barbara
To the editor: That was one angry man onstage in St. Louis on Sunday night.
Trump looked like a caged animal, snarling as he circled and stalked his prey, ready to pounce at any moment. And pounce he did when he said he would put Hillary Clinton in jail.
Dictators around the world have been known to jail their opponents and others who don't agree with them, and Trump showed us again what kind of president we can expect him to be if he is elected.
Lou Perez, Studio City
To the editor: Once again, a debate that should have enlightened voters has been allowed to be corrupted by the way it is set up.
It's ridiculous to have a debate in which both candidates are allowed to avoid answering the questions posed by the moderators and are also allowed to interrupt the other candidate who has been asked a question by the moderators. The remedy for this is simple: The microphones of both candidates should be muted except when they are responding to the moderators' questions.
A candidate who is asked a question but starts to digress should have his or her microphone cut off, and the moderators should repeat the question and demand an answer.
Carol J. Smith, Cerritos
To the editor: The most shocking thing about Sunday night's debate was not Trump's nastiness, but the lack of focus on climate change.
When children cannot breathe and are thirsty, when temperatures rise so much that we cannot survive, when beach cities have been destroyed by flood and fires ravage the country, when oceans are acid and coral reefs are a memory, and when forests are brown, the survivors will look back and wonder what we were thinking.
The only reference to this threat was an audience question about "energy policy," and the candidates' responses were weak. The moderators did not raise the subject at all.
Cynthia Cannady, Altadena