To the editor: Ariel Dorfman poses an interesting question: Will Americans actually step up and defend their democracy against a wannabe autocrat like President Trump, similar to how Chileans voted to end Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship 30 years ago?
I have my doubts. Average citizens — by their indifference and, yes, their ignorance — have placed our republic in great danger. Anyone with an adequate information base in 2016 would never have cast a vote for an individual so lacking in integrity, intelligence and experience in public service.
It is hard to argue with the saying, “In a democracy, the people get the government they deserve.”
Bob Teigan, Santa Susana
To the editor: We should not judge tyranny by its popularity. We should judge on the basis of whether it is tyranny.
Our nation has been sliding dangerously into one-party rule and is now collapsing into one-man rule. The trend has been long underway, but the recent assault on the separation of powers and on the independence of the press has been relentless under Trump.
This is not the path to tyranny. We are already there. The question is whether we can recover. That is why Dorfman’s positive report is so welcome at this critical moment.
The Republican Party is incapable of rescuing and renewing itself as long as it is in power. This is the moment when both Republicans and Democrats need to vote it out of office — for the sake of our collective future as a democratic republic.
Siegfried Othmer, Woodland Hills
To the editor: Dorfman’s piece took me back to the first time I exercised my right to vote. I had the honor of voting for John F. Kennedy, a Roman Catholic, for president of the United States.
This article confirms the power of one of the most crucial institutions in our country, the ballot box. In his inaugural address, Kennedy inspired us all by telling all Americans, young and old, Democrat and Republican, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”
Soon it will be time for us to perform our civic duty. We must have the courage to protect our democracy by voting on Nov. 6.
Allan Rawland, Rancho Cucamonga