To the editor: I don’t know the answer to the question of how much Donald Trump will permanently change the presidency as his predecessors did.
Unlike previous presidents who tried to bring public opinion with them, Trump has intentionally appealed only to his narrow base. I think he is likely to fail as a disruptor because he has not brought public opinion with him.
In our constitutional system, power is fragmented, not just at the national level, but also between the national government and state and local governments. Also, while we are not a direct democracy, we are an indirect democracy in which people participate by being civically engaged. The real resistance to Trump is coming from state and local governments and people who are civically engaged, both of which see the president’s policies as working in opposition to their progress.
Even Trump’s lasting impact on the federal courts can be challenged. I cannot imagine a conservative judiciary overturning popular programs that have broad acceptance in society.
Vic Volpe, Camarillo
To the editor: Jon D. Michaels, an expert on presidential power at UCLA, says Trump has the “biggest classroom in America.”
Great. Just what our already-challenged education system needs: the Pied Piper in front of class.
Trump defrauded students at his bogus “university” and is a documented liar who tells one presidential fib after another. Pathetically, the one thing he was truthful about is that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and not lose political support.
I don’t know what’s worst — Trump himself, his congressional sycophants or the 40% of Americans who continue following him.
Educators know how models influence attitudes and behavior. We now have at the highest levels of government and throughout the country unprecedented models of inexcusable behavior.
Claude Goldenberg, Seal Beach
To the editor: The caption with a picture of FDR notes that the 32nd president “used radio to explain his politics ... not entirely unlike Trump’s use of Twitter.”
This falls into the trap of false equivalency, comparing something a universally recognized great president did with something the worst president in history is doing.
FDR’s fireside chats were inspiring messages to all Americans. Trump’s rants on Twitter are vicious, mean, vile screeds of revenge against anyone with whom he disagrees. He’s only thinking of himself, not all Americans.
Robert Bubnovich, Irvine