Readers React: Fine, there’s tribalism on both sides — but the right is far more damaging than the left

President Trump Marks 100 Days In Office With Rally In Pennsylvania
Supporters of Donald Trump cheer before the president takes the stage at a campaign-style rally in Harrisburg, Pa., on April 29, 2017.
(Alex Wong / Getty Images)

To the editor: Jonah Goldberg talks about tribalism, but not all tribes are created equal. (“Three reasons for the cult of Trump,” Opinion, Feb. 6)

Republicans excuse their own bad behavior, claiming they’re no worse than Democrats. That’s false. In Pennsylvania, Republicans gerrymandered districts to claim 75% of legislative seats with about 50% of the vote, and Democrats are fighting for redistricting that results in proportionate representation.

If that’s “tribalism,” then it’s the tribalism of Darth Vader versus Luke Skywalker.

American democracy depends on bipartisan decision-making. President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) have broken that cornerstone in order to win but also make sure others lose — a zero-sum game. They see “winning” as accumulating more wealth for the wealthy rather than serving the common good.


Limitless greed is driving asymmetric tribalism, and it’s the Republicans’ fault.

Linda Kranen, Carlsbad


To the editor: Goldberg posits that Trump, like President Obama during his tenure, finds credulous support in an adoring cult. Goldberg overlooks a stark difference.


Trump’s cult will exist only for so long as he plays the crucial role of distracting the public from the profound, long-range harm his GOP-dominated Congress is doing to the country. When the Democrats regain a congressional majority, Trump’s cult will fade into oblivion.

Not so with Obama’s “cult.” His admirers will forever venerate a man who demonstrated the intellect, composure and equanimity that provides an enviable standard for American presidents.

Robin Groves, Pacific Palisades


To the editor: Really, Jonah Goldberg? The best you can do to explain the Trump cult is to spend more than half your column pointing your finger at Democrats?

Meanwhile, the rest of us are still wondering if the entire GOP drank the Kool-Aid or is just going along to get along.

I hope your MAGA hat isn’t too tight — it’s going to be hard to get it off post-Trump.

Debra Kaufman, Venice


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