Readers React: Trump’s lying and demands for personal loyalty put American democracy in danger


To the editor: I have not read Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt’s book, “How Democracies Die,” so maybe this following issue is discussed in their book. (“Trump attacks on Russia investigation threaten U.S. democracy, authors say,” Feb. 6)

President Trump’s most basic assault on our democratic institutions is his willingness to lie and deny facts. Trump began his political rise by promoting his bigoted “birther” lie, which taught the future president that he could utter any falsehood and people would believe him and not the facts or the truth.

Trump’s ability to convince gullible people to believe his lies ties directly to Trump’s demand for personal loyalty. In our democracy, we pledge our allegiance to our Constitution and not to the individual. For Trump, allegiance is owed to him personally. Loyalty to an individual is the hallmark of authoritarianism.


Trump’s lies and his demand for personal loyalty are the core threats to our democracy.

Arch Miller, Arcadia


To the editor: As a child growing up in Nazi Germany in the 1930s and ’40s, I heard the party’s exhortation for Germany to become “Deutschland uber alles,” which is frighteningly similar to Trump’s “make America great again.”

In that era, Adolf Hitler blamed Germany’s condition on being unfairly treated by foreign as well as domestic forces. Today, Trump bemoans the trade practices of China and other countries, and he targets immigrants entering this country through the diversity visa lottery and so-called chain migration. He is especially harsh on immigrants who come from Africa and Latin America.

Trump’s exhortations attack our democratic traditions.

Franz Berghammer, Huntington Beach

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