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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: Here’s the thing about Trump and homelessness in L.A.: He’s right

President Trump acknowledges supporters as he steps out of Air Force One after arriving in Los Angeles on Sept. 17.
President Trump acknowledges supporters as he steps out of Air Force One after arriving in Los Angeles on Sept. 17.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: It’s no secret that when President Trump rails against coastal cities for their vast homeless populations, he’s exploiting the urban-rural divide for political purposes. But less obvious, and more painful, is the fact that he’s right.

That’s right: In gleefully shaming the entertainment capital of the world (Los Angeles) and the uber-wealthy heart of the tech empire (San Francisco), Trump knows that despite our vast resources, we urban elites cannot seem to muster the compassion, courage or political will to provide housing for tens of thousand of our fellow citizens.

He knows we’ve grown quite adept at stepping over sleeping human beings on our way to enjoying artisanal small plates and $15 cocktails.

We can rage at Trump’s crude rhetoric all we like, but until we prove we’re better than that, his words will continue to hit a little too close to home.

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Anthony Lacques, Los Angeles

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To the editor: Trump’s comments about homeless people living on “our best streets” seem to suggest that what bothers him most is not their plight but that he has to look at them.

Any program he might advocate to get people off the street is only to get the homeless out of his sight. He seems entirely unconcerned about the welfare of these people.

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Brushing problems under a rug doesn’t solve them. Trump focuses on appearances rather than on substance and root causes. This is his signature, and it will be his legacy.

Eric Searcy, Los Angeles

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To the editor: Trump’s “solutions” to the homelessness crisis are the same as with other issues: Blame the Democrats, pander to wealthy donors, and appear to be doing something instead of taking any substantive action.

His concern is for the wealthy, not for the tens of thousands of human beings who fell through the cracks and do so at an increasing rate because of his heartless policies.

We know Trump lacks shame for his words and actions, but I hope for their sake that his major donors realize they are listed publicly. We will remember their support for mean-spirited nationalism and plutocracy.

Max Parker, Santa Barbara

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To the editor: These words may be hard to hear, but there is no solution to homelessness. Government funds spent to combat it could be better used elsewhere. There is only one place to start with regard to the homeless, and that is education.

For Trump to even tiptoe into California’s homeless crisis is bold but worthless. And yet, his critics complain that he has no plan. No one really does.

California is not alone with a large homeless population. Try visiting Mumbai, New York or Zurich.

You want to help? Cook a nice meal and take it to almost any street corner. Find someone who is hungry and appreciates your gesture. Then go home, and do it again next week. Make it a part of your life.

Brian Miller, Los Angeles


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