Opinion: Trump’s ineptness is unparalleled, but Americans — and the L.A. Times — should have seen this coming

Participants wear President Trump masks at a protest in New York on April 1.
(Kevin Hagen / Getty Images)

To the editor: The opening editorial in your four-part series explaining President Trump’s grave faults brings to mind “1984.” That actual year was a date 20 years in the future when I was in high school and read George Orwell’s novel. I still remember our teacher told us fascism-infiltrated governments existed long before citizens recognized the ideology’s presence.

In Orwell’s book, the Records Department of the Ministry of Truth produces blatant politically driven use of “alternate facts” in an effort to influence the hearts and minds of its citizenry.

By unmasking the “three troubling traits” about our country’s new leader, citizen patriots will be armed with the information and incentive to combat the alternate reality propagated by our current president’s administration. It is the only way to make American great again.


Mary MacLaren Rider, Solana Beach

Editorial: Our Dishonest President »


To the editor: After giving a list of what’s wrong with Trump, you say that it is “not yet time to declare a state of ‘wholesale panic’ or to call for blanket ‘non-cooperation’ with the Trump administration.”

How could anyone have expected anything less than an unmitigated disaster?

— Erica Verrillo, Whately, Mass.

But when is it time? After our air and water are dangerous to breathe and drink? After our children have inferior educations? After there are no more foreign students in our schools? After our neighbors are deported? After our endangered species are gone; our public lands are torn apart; our allies are no longer sharing intelligence with us; the arts and humanities are broke and gone?

When, please tell us, is it time for “wholesale panic”? Before the damn bursts and there’s still time to save ourselves and the world, or afterward, standing amid the rubble of what was?


Nikki Harmon, Los Angeles


To the editor: You say, “Nothing prepared us for the magnitude of this train wreck.”

I would like to point out that Trump himself amply prepared for this phenomenal train wreck.

Didn’t anyone notice that he had thousands of lawsuits filed against him? Or that he cheated students at his bogus university? Or that his casinos broke rules and racked up fines? Or that he had a long, long history of shady business dealings?

Not to put too fine a point on it, but did anyone notice that he was completely unqualified for the job of president of the United States? How could anyone have expected anything less than an unmitigated disaster?

And didn’t anybody read “The Art of the Deal,” in which he laid out his strategy as clear as day? “I play to people’s fantasies,” Trump wrote. When a businessman plays to people’s fantasies and fails to deliver, that’s fraud, not hyperbole. When a president does it, that is also fraud, but on a grander scale — one that can lead to a war.

“It’s difficult to know whether he actually can’t distinguish the real from the unreal — or whether he intentionally conflates the two to befuddle voters, deflect criticism and undermine the very idea of objective truth,” you wrote.


Given Trump’s history as a con man and a huckster, how can there be any doubt that he knows exactly what he is doing?

Erica Verrillo, Whately, Mass.


To the editor: I want to thank you for your concise and insightful series on the failed Trump presidency. I am proud to subscribe to your paper and proud you are the editorial board for the diverse and progressive city of Los Angeles.

I was born and raised in L.A., and you are doing us right with your reporting.

Trudy Sopp, La Jolla


To the editor: The Times’ editorial eloquently lays out the obvious facts of this “train wreck” of a presidency, but I was confounded by your blue-sky conclusion that it’s not yet time for “wholesale panic” or “total non-cooperation.”


One of the reasons for the Times’ optimism is that we survived Richard Nixon — an inapt comparison that gravely insults Nixon. I am no fan of the 37th president, but measured beside Trump, he was a dignified statesman and moderate who at least attempted to serve U.S. interests, as best he saw them, on the world stage.


Though Nixon’s lying and misdeeds in Watergate were serious, they are dwarfed by the train wreck of Trumpism: the broad assault on facts themselves, the oligarchical corruption and venality that is without precedent, the deliberate humiliation of NATO and other allies, and the embrace of a Russian regime that would destroy us.

Steven De Salvo, Pasadena


To the editor: Thank you for telling the truth loudly and clearly about the man who holds the office of president for now (I struggle to call him by that title). I have not heard enough unequivocal condemnations from sources in a position to make their voices heard for the record of history.

The threat he presents goes far beyond ideological differences, and we can only hope that our institutions and principled Republicans will join those already resisting to restore the promise of a better, more enlightened future this country has always shown as an example to the world. That promise is being broken, and my heart is breaking for the country I deeply love.

Angela Houle, Rolling Hills Estates


To the editor: The wording of your editorial reminded me immediately of the litany of grievances our young nation listed as it proposed rebelling against England in our Declaration of Independence.It is instructive to re-read the Declaration and consider its protests against King George III.


To quote a few: “He has obstructed the administration of justice by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers…. He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people and eat out their substance…. He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these states; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners.”

May the American public find the courage to oppose Trump’s “reckless and heartless agenda.”

Celia Carroll, Santa Monica

Follow the Opinion section on Twitter @latimesopinion and Facebook