Readers React: As he deals with North Korea, Trump has plenty of time left to emulate Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan,Mikhail Gorbachev
President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev exchange pens during the signing of the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty at the White House on Dec. 8, 1987.
(Bob Daugherty / Associated Press)

To the editor: Comparisons between President Trump’s actions on North Korea and President Reagan’s success with the Soviet Union are premature. Reagan now benefits from the politics of nostalgia, and Trump does not.

We seem to have forgotten that Reagan’s policies were highly contested in the 1980s. Liberals often blame him for the inequalities still present in America.

If anything is uncontested about Reagan, it is his firm stand against the “evil empire” that led to the fall of the Soviet Union. Let’s not forget that his biggest accomplishment was years in the making — it wasn’t until after his presidency that his efforts achieved their purpose.

Although Trump’s and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s meeting in Vietnam failed to achieve denuclearization, it would be preposterous to close the door on future negotiations. Let’s remember that not only do Trump and Reagan represent two different leaders, but Kim and Mikhail Gorbachev do as well — therefore, the strategies that worked in the 1980s might not now.


Berta Graciano-Buchman, Beverly Hills


To the editor: Trump is no Reagan, but op-ed article writer Marion Smith does not explain why.

Trump has long been a social Darwinist, believing that the survival of the human race depends on the strong triumphing over the weak. That’s why he respects powerful dictators and tries to emulate them.


Michael Haas, Los Angeles


To the editor: Many accomplished diplomats think summits between national leaders are dangerous unless an agreement has first been negotiated at a lower level and put in writing before the heads of government meet to sign the document and take credit for the success.

Those diplomats provide wise guidance that Trump should follow to avoid meetings doing more harm than good. A properly prepared summit should never appear to be a failure.

Gary Colboth, Long Beach

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