To the editor: Steve Almond’s encouragement that we face our national predicament with courage and action, not clever barbs, is important. This is not a time to wander off giggling and pointing while Rome burns.
But, in my experience, those of us who look to comedians’ political jokes do so for the kind of laughter that provides both emotional release and new insights. Our political participation and activism is not hampered by this kind of social commentary; rather, it is energized.
In American history, Ben Franklin, Mark Twain and many more have reflected politics in their comedy, and we were more aware as a result, not less. This critical example of our freedom of speech, sadly, is still rare in the world. For example, Bassem Youssef in Egypt sacrificed his career and life in his country to slyly speak the truth.
I was struck by the poignancy of a comment from satirist Will Durst, speaking out on being funny in the era of Donald Trump: “People need to know they’re not alone.”
Christina Hosmer, Laguna Niguel
To the editor: Almond hit the bulls-eye in pointing out that mockery only helps President Trump.
We must take decisive action. We should respect the office of the president, but note the character of the man now occupying it. So many of us refused to do that while he was seeking the presidency after the emergence of the Billy Bush clip, which should have been enough to disqualify Trump or any other candidate from office.
And yet the beat goes on. How many more incidents do the American people need to realize that we need to rid ourselves of Trump?
Hopefully, the new majority in Congress will provide the oversight demanded by the Constitution.
David Knobler, Winnetka