Letters to the Editor: If the 2020 Democrats are ‘radical,’ what were the 2016 Republicans?

Democratic presidential hopefuls — Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren — at the candidates' debate in Houston on Sept. 12.
Democratic presidential hopefuls — Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren — at the candidates’ debate in Houston on Sept. 12.
(Associated Press)

To the editor: It’s hard to argue with columnist Jonah Goldberg’s characterization of the upcoming Democratic primary as “an emotive contest to prove who cares the most.” But Goldberg neglects to assess his own party’s most recent primary.

Consider how Democrats and independents typically view the 2016 GOP primary: It amounted to a demagogic contest to establish which candidate could most persuasively dog-whistle his entrenched bigotry against ethnic and religious minorities.

Really, is it so inexcusable for Democratic candidates to respond to President Trump’s divisive white nationalism by claiming to care for all Americans?


Rona Dolgin, Los Angeles


To the editor: Please consider getting more writers like Goldberg, one of the few in your paper who clearly recognizes and demonstrates how so many people on both the political left and the right are living in dangerous echo chambers.

They are two sides of the exact same coin, though they do not realize it.

Larry Cahill, Irvine


To the editor: One can feel Goldberg’s pain in having to criticize a Republican president while not being able to demonize full-time “the left,” his favorite bogeyman for years. Reading his most recent column, you could feel him fishing for some way to present the Democrats as dangerous radicals.

Nevertheless, I was still surprised when I read this statement: “And nearly all of the radical proposals [most of the Democratic candidates] support — from gun control, to ‘Medicare for All’ ....”

Gun control is radical? Wanting universal background checks and trying to get weapons designed to kill hundreds of people quickly off the streets is radical?

David Saffan, Santa Barbara