Readers React: Trump’s rhetoric will never unify Americans — because Trump doesn’t want to unify Americans


To the editor: In his critique of President Trump’s rhetoric as having “character” and “clarity” but lacking “unity,” Philip Collins is laboring under the wrong idea that President Trump actually wants to unify the country. He does not.

Trump’s whole appeal was to certain favored sectors of the population — notably working-class white males who feel attacked by the social, cultural and demographic changes of the last 50 years — to whom he promised a return to their glory days. Trump is a classic demagogue, picking out “real Americans” and casting others —Mexicans, Muslims, immigrants, people of color — as the enemies he will successfully vanquish and thus “make America great again.”

Like his unpredictable decision-making style, his direct appeals to his fans via Twitter and his love of flattery and military displays, his speaking style shows that Trump wants to be a dictator instead of a powerful but constitutionally limited president.


Mark Gabrish Conlan, San Diego


To the editor: Collins’ piece is a misleading mess.

Trump’s rhetoric has clarity and character? No way. It’s distinctive, and he has a recognizable brand and style, but to quote Jonah Goldberg in a column that ran the same day, “Trump is fiery and unpredictable all the time.”

He often says one thing and backtracks or does the opposite (remember that he was going to sign a bill to protect the “Dreamers”). He lies a lot. The most important omission is that Trump is a bully.

Only a man of great wealth could have gotten away with Trump’s pre-presidential antics. He has become a major historical figure, but imitators who lack his power and celebrity status will not do well.

Bob Snodgrass, Pasadena

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