Readers React: Another dog-whistling, divisive campaign speech from President Trump

President Donald Trump claps at his first State of the Union address in the House chamber of the U.S
President Trump claps at his first State of the Union address on Capitol Hill on Jan. 30.
(Win McNamee / AP)

To the editor: The president of the United States stood before Congress and peddled his disgusting lie that immigrants are violent criminals and that cutting back on immigration is the only way to protect this country. (“In State of Union, Trump calls for unity in hopes of altering a threatening tide,” Jan. 30)

President Trump drew a sharp distinction between “Americans” (by which he presumably means native-born citizens) and “Dreamers.” He implicitly criticized as somehow being anti-veteran and anti-police those individuals (mostly citizens with a somewhat darker skin tone) who have had the courage to protest against police brutality and murder.

This was not, as your headline put it, a “call for unity.” And Trump did not, as the lead paragraph of the article proclaimed, try to “shed [his] polarizing image.” Instead, he doubled down on his dog-whistle bigotry in a campaign speech designed to rile up his base.

Steve Ellis, Los Angeles



To the editor: One can learn a lot from just watching the Democratic and Republican reactions during the State of the Union speech. Here are some of the noteworthy takeaways:

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) will not stand for an appeal for cooperation.

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus will not stand for the lowest African American unemployment rate in history. The Democratic Party apparently won’t even stand for a strong Detroit. They won’t stand for lower drug prices. They won’t stand to support victims of the gang MS-13.


And finally, the Democrats will not stand for reasonable immigration reform.

Without cooperation, I think the Democratic Party is playing a dangerous game with the American people. It is a sad day when we are this polarized.

Rick Kern, Incline Village, Nev.


To the editor: Did the Los Angeles Times’ reporters watch the same speech as I did? There was no olive branch extended to anyone, only a shameless self-promoting and self-congratulatory campaign speech.

I heard Trump once again disparaging past administrations and misstating the facts. Trump has divided this great country with relish, and his State of the Union speech was truly no call for all Americans to work together.

What I saw was Trump stating that only he knows what’s best for the country.

Gary Reyes, Van Nuys



To the editor: If all his opponents cave and follow the Trump agenda, that will be unity, apparently.

Are we unified in thinking we should expand the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, protect assault weapons and speak of immigrants only as MS-13 killers and not those who work our fields and other hard jobs? Should we increase deficit spending on nuclear and other weapons and add to the millions of people who have lost health insurance under Trump?

Scott McKenzie, La Cañada Flintridge


To the editor: It should come as no surprise that on the same evening as Trump’s bizarre and ominous State of the Union address, there was a “super blue blood moon” total eclipse.

The eclipse was best viewed from California, where the irony would be most appreciated.

Ross Rudel, Los Angeles


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