Opinion

Readers React: Defending Trump? Prepare for a backlash from some L.A. Times readers

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People in New York protest on Nov. 8, 2018, amid reports that President Trump tried to interfere in Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation.
(Bryan R. Smith / AFP/Getty Images)

Nearly 200 readers wrote letters to the editor this week focusing on President Trump, and it’s easy to understand why: With the release on April 18 of the partly redacted report by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, the president’s intensifying confrontations with Democrats in Congress and talk of impeachment, it’s hard to discuss anything else.

The vast majority of letters we receive on Trump express criticism of the president, and in this space you will read yet more denunciations. The letters here, however, are of a different kind — they respond to the handful of pro-Trump letters appearing in the L.A. Times recently rather than news reports or op-ed articles.

With Mueller’s report painting an unflattering picture of the president’s conduct, it appears there is growing sense among many of our letter writers that Trump’s behavior is indefensible, so they’re responding in greater numbers to the few readers whose letters side with Trump.

Philip Guiral of Laguna Hills takes issue with a writer who said Trump’s dishonesty is no big deal:

It seems that the last refuge for Trump supporters who tolerate his endless lies is to bring up President Clinton’s statement, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman,” and President Obama’s, “If you like your health plan, you can keep it.”

After that it becomes difficult to remember additional lies. With Trump, there’s a lie seemingly every day. Most of us could name 10 right off the bat without having to think too hard.

When you’re driving on the freeway and someone is doing 70 mph instead of 65, you can say, “Everyone speeds.” But if someone drives 110, you can’t use the same argument to justify that.

Finn Sveen of Redlands believes that one letter defending Trump should not have been published:

It is to be expected that the L.A. Times will accept letters that defend the president, but some viewpoints are so off-base that they should not be given print space. One such letter published on April 24 said that since every president lies, what Trump does isn’t unique.

Trump is not just a liar — he’s a serial liar. You cannot excuse his habitual dishonesty by pointing out that others lie too. The Washington Post has so far documented more than 9,000 false or misleading statements made by Trump.

We all lie on occasion, but Trump is in a league of his own.

Kathi Weiner of Irvine responds to an April 26 letter from a self-described “pro-Trump Republican”:

One reader said she feels “sorry for Democrats who are stuck in the past and still refuse to accept [Trump’s] presidency.”

How ironic that she would say Democrats are stuck in the past, when Trump’s slogan is “Make America Great Again.” Meanwhile, the president ignores the realities of the future, including climate change, globalization and more.

Andrew Ko of San Marino is the only letter writer who likes what he read:

The Times actually published letters saying that the Russians did not win in 2016, and there’s a difference between migrants and immigrants who come here legally.

Could the L.A. Times be moving toward the right?

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