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Opinion

Readers React: Doubting Trump’s legitimacy is as loony as believing Obama was born in Kenya

BESTPIX BESTPIX Anti-Trump “March for Truth” Protestors Rally Across The U.S. *** BESTPIX ***
Protesters participate in an anti-Trump rally in New York on June 3, 2017.
(Eduardo Munoz Alvarez / Getty Images)

To the editor: That the Los Angeles Times would publish Virginia Heffernan’s attack on President Trump’s legitimacy as president is a new low for the mainstream media.

She suggests most data projections predicted Trump would lose, but The Times’ own poll did not predict that. Numerous other surveys showed a competitive race. Most polls were correct, as Hillary Clinton won the popular vote but got upset in the Midwest, losing the electoral college.

Heffernan says Florida’s exit polls showed Clinton winning on election day. But exit polls have been notoriously spotty, and there were polls showing Trump winning or tied in Florida. The fact is, Clinton was never popular outside South Florida, and I rarely saw her yard signs in the Central Florida county in which my family resides.

Heffernan calls the electoral college a “technicality,” and says the United States is a majority-wins nation with a minority president. No, we are a constitutional republic with an electoral college, a system that encouraged Trump to campaign in the Midwest and to avoid the Northeast and the West Coast. And he did, resulting in a meaningless popular vote win for Clinton.

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When I worked as a newspaper editorial writer, I never entertained the thought of publishing submissions from anti-Obama partisans about his birth certificate. I am deeply embarrassed for American journalism that The Times chose to print Heffernan’s anti-Trump piffle.

Jim Stinson, Spring Hill, Fla.

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To the editor: Far from a “forbidden subject,” the legitimacy of Trump’s victory has been disputed since two weeks after election day, when Green Party candidate Jill Stein filed for recounts in Ohio, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

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Heffernan is right that our system for electing presidents isn’t perfect. How could it be? Our elections are huge, infrequent and decentralized, with about 3,000 counties managing their own counts. We learned just how imperfect it was in 2000.

To make her point about Trump’s illegitimacy, Heffernan would have to show Trump had a hand in any irregularities, or that the irregularities changed the election’s outcome. She does neither.

Sometimes, when there’s smoke, there’s fire. Other times, there’s just someone blowing smoke.
Robert Helbing, Monrovia

Sometimes, when there’s smoke, there’s fire. Other times, there’s just someone blowing smoke.

Robert Helbing, Monrovia

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To the editor: Beyond the question of legitimacy is a more serious one: Will our democracy survive the presidency of a narcissist?

It remains to be seen how much damage Trump will inflict on our government, our relationships with our allies, and our economy. With Republicans in Congress and in the administration cowering in fear of the president, there is very little holding him back.

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I hope that our next president has an appetite for repair work.

Fred Barker, Burbank

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To the editor: I have the simple solution for ensuring the legitimacy of future elections: Mothball all voting machines and go to an exclusively paper ballot system. Preserve all ballots for at least a year after election day.

Naturally, the media would not like such a system since their “immediate” announcement of the results would be quashed, but it’s a small price to pay to preserve legitimate democratic rule.

Charlene Richards, Hawthorne

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