Readers React: Trump’s speech gave the whole country a taste of conservative media. It didn’t work

President Trump speaks from the Oval Office during a prime-time address Jan. 8 about border security.
President Trump speaks from the Oval Office during a prime-time address Jan. 8 about border security.
(Carlos Barria / Associated Press)

To the editor: One of the most fascinating things about the White House communications strategy is seeing how the narratives that dominate conservative media (in this case, evildoers storming the border) play when presented to a national audience.

Refreshingly, the predominant reactions to President Trump’s speech about the government shutdown and his desire for a border wall seem to be skepticism, disinterest and ridicule.

Mainstream America is reacting to this mash-up of hyperbole and fear-mongering with the correct response: Do you really expect us to believe this?


R.C. Price, San Clemente


To the editor: I am an immigrant. My only crimes have been three traffic tickets.

My parents and I escaped certain death in Germany. When I was 17 my parents became United States citizens. The day after my parents took the oath, my father signed my enlistment papers to the U.S. Navy during World War II.

I live in an area where I am a religious and racial minority. My fellow residents are Caucasians, African Americans, Asians and Latinos. Our local government unites us, unlike our president.

The only crisis I see has to do with the inaccuracies uttered by the president. His speech Tuesday evening fell on deaf ears.

Eric David, Long Beach


To the editor: In 2006, Sen. Chuck Schumer and then-Sen. Barack Obama voted for a bill that funded hundreds of miles of border fencing construction. Now Schumer, the Senate minority leader, says a wall is not needed.

Trump is accused of playing politics now, even though the border wall was in fact a cornerstone of his presidential campaign. Those really playing politics are Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Skip Bowling, Studio City


To the editor: Might Trump provide a comprehensive list of heinous crimes committed by our southern neighbors here illegally? I’m trying to recall how many of our horrible mass killings they’ve committed.

I also wonder when Trump will devote this much fervor to gun control and perhaps to weakening the clout of the National Rifle Assn.

Eileen Bigelow, Whittier


To the editor: Moments after Trump’s speech, Schumer and Pelosi delivered a tepid rebuttal, whining that the president was manufacturing a crisis to stoke fear. They tried to make the case for reopening the government before any negotiations about border security.

Yeah, right. If Trump agreed to that, this is what would happen.

Trump would say, “OK, people, now that the government is open, let’s talk about the wall.” Pelosi and Schumer would reply, “What wall?” Meanwhile, Rep. Maxine Waters would be in the background talking about impeachment.

Joseph A. Lea, Mission Viejo


To the editor: Trump has been flexible on the nature of the wall, so the Democrats are looking like obstructionists. I recommend the Democrats compromise by offering to match dollar-for-dollar all money given by Mexico to build the wall.

As for the Oval Office address itself, the president misled all the broadcasters by stating he was making a policy speech, when he really delivered a campaign speech, bolstered by mass fundraising appeals. I recommend all the media outlets that broadcast the speech ask his reelection campaign to reimburse them for the foregone advertising revenue.

James Sallis, San Diego

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