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Opinion

Opinion: Americans are to blame for Trump’s victory, but we should not ignore Russian meddling

Donald Trump
President Trump speaks during a campaign-style rally in Pensacola, Fla., on Dec. 8.
(Jonathan Bachman / Associated Press)

To the editor: I agree with the general premise of Ariel Dorfman’s op-ed article that we inflicted Donald Trump’s presidency on ourselves. (“America still hasn’t reckoned with the election of a reckless con man as president,” Opinion, Dec. 17)

But for him to off-handedly assert that there was “no lack of culprits to blame” and then sweep that aspect of the election process under the carpet oversimplifies many significant factors. For example, Russia used social media to pinpoint with astonishing accuracy the exposure of millions of Americans to fake news in the very areas Dorfman notes some 80,000 voters determined just enough electoral votes to give Trump the win.

Nate Tucker, Costa Mesa

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To the editor: Dorfman lectures us that what matters is not what a foreign power did to America, but what America did to itself. He focuses, however, only on the political climate that led to Trump’s election.

Look at what America did to itself after the election. Disgruntled voters rejected our method of electing leaders by stating that Trump was not their president. News coverage of the White House almost always has a negative slant, and TV personalities incessantly mock the present administration.

They give members of the American public reasons to despise their government and their fellow citizens who voted for Trump.

No attempt by the Russians to cause voters to lose faith in their government can match what we have done to ourselves.

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Bill Gravlin, Rancho Palos Verdes

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To the editor: Part of the national myth of America is our uniform adherence to democracy. In fact, there have always been some who are skeptical of the democratic process. For them, security is favored over freedom, and demagogues on the right or the left find a home within this bloc.

Distressed and neglected areas of this country have existed for years. What was different this time was the political messaging: Executive actions that would benefit those suffering under existing governance were promised. Conservatives voted for their candidate with reservations, but the added voting bloc of those seeking security was decisive.

When our national policies neglect sections of our citizenry, we create a class of dispossessed people, some of whom do not have faith in democratic processes. We ignore this at our own peril.

Ed Salisbury, Santa Monica

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