In between licking our collective wounds inflicted by President Trump's turbulent week in Europe and having them reopened when the president announced Thursday he was withdrawing the United States from the Paris climate accord, Americans shared a brief moment of levity at Trump's expense. Even the White House arguably joined in, with Press Secretary Sean Spicer cryptically saying on Wednesday that "the president and a small group of people know exactly what he meant" by tweeting out the newest addition to the American English lexicon, "covfefe."
The Times' letter writers, however, were troubled by the president's early-a.m. typo. To them, the Trump's tweet is indicative of any number of larger problems.
Jay B. Winderman of Claremont worries about Trump's health:
At 12:06 a.m. Eastern time on May 31, Trump tweeted, "Despite the constant negative press covfefe" — and the media went wild.
"Covfefe" is not itself a word or even a code word. The first three letters form the beginning of the word "coverage." Trump, however, did not complete that word before his finger wavered between the "e" and the "f" on his keyboard, suggesting that he might have had a transient medical problem. If so, watch what he does over the coming week.
Trump is burning his candle at both ends. He stays up at night to send messages, and recently he returned from an exhausting trip overseas. Keep in mind also that Trump is 70 years old, and we still have not seen the full results of his physical exam yet.
Ventura resident Deborah Ventura (not a typo) worries about society's health:
Times reporter Matt Pearce's June 1 think piece is on target about the dangerous distraction of being amused by Trump's incoherent tweets.
In "Amusing Ourselves to Death," Neil Postman discusses how informed citizens attended the hours-long Lincoln-Douglas debates, took dinner breaks and then returned for more hours of listening and debating. Postman makes a strong point about common people who could engage for hours and vote like it mattered.
Sadly, over the years, many Americans have left politics to the politicians and ceded their right to be informed. Indeed, many have grown suspicious of those who are civically engaged. Some truly believe that shouting "fake news" absolves them of their duty to be informed.
I don't believe America deserves Trump, but we must think carefully about how we got to such a low point as to be amused by or accept the president of the United States tweeting nonsense after midnight.
Kenneth L. Zimmerman of Huntington Beach wants Trump to ditch Twitter:
Trump's "covfefe" typo shows just how dangerous his tweets can be, especially since they are not first reviewed by others, which all of his communications should be for accuracy and tone of message.
What if in the wee hours of the morning he meant to tweet, "I am not going to bomb North Korea," but left off the "not"?