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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: Republicans can only try to rationalize Trump, not defend him

President Trump campaign rally
President Trump during a campaign rally in Battle Creek, Mich., on Dec. 18.
(Jeff Kowalsky / AFP/Getty Images)

To the editor: Former GOP strategist Scott Jennings’ op-ed piece on his party’s unwavering support for President Trump is less an explanation of Republican thinking than an example of Republican rationalizing. He compares Trump to a “conductor” and argues that as long as the train is headed in roughly the right direction, Republicans don’t care that the person operating it is a “flawed” human being.

What seems incomprehensible to the rest of us is not that Republicans can support an engineer who is “imperfect,” but one who is dangerously ignorant, incompetent and disturbed, and who has no understanding of or care for the well-being of the train or anyone else on board.

What we can’t figure out is why anyone would willingly board a train being driven anywhere by a child playing dress-up in an engineer’s costume.

John Miller, Irvine

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To the editor: I’m one of those Republicans who, after 50 years in the party, finds that he cannot back a president with no moral compass. Trump’s aversion to the truth should turn off any person who values character.

Yes, Trump cut taxes, but for whose benefit? Furthermore, those tax cuts will add nearly $2 trillion to the national debt over 10 years, and the federal deficit was extremely important to the party when a Democrat was in office.

I have many friends and relatives who are very religious, and I remember many of them wearing bracelets with “WWJD,” or what would Jesus do? I don’t pretend to know what Jesus would do, but I feel pretty confident that he wouldn’t separate children from their families, tell thousands of lies to the public, demonize anyone who questions his actions, take credit for things he never did and exhibit a level of egomania that is disgusting.

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George Cole, Corona

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To the editor: Jennings does little more than tart up the Faustian bargain Trump struck with conservatives to explain why they continue to back him.

After all, however impulsive and ignoble Trump’s incessant distractions, they have helped the GOP achieve desired short-term objectives. So while many Republicans privately decry Trump’s behavior, they publicly laud him for appointing hard-right judges, cutting taxes for the wealthy, curtailing regulations and more.

Jennings concludes by suggesting that the overarching question is “how the Democrats became so radicalized as to present no viable alternative to huge swaths of nonurban America.” The answer lies with Trump: Democrats remain aghast that the American public could be so dismissive of the long-term damage his imperious reign has done to revered democratic institutions.

Thus Democratic candidates flounder about in what may be the ultimate exercise in futility: trying to reason with an ever more distracted and willfully ignorant electorate.

Sarah S. Williams, Santa Barbara

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To the editor: Jennings defends anti-choice Christian conservatives who hypocritically support the corrupt and mendacious president because he is so “pro-life.” In response, I offer this:

If a woman has a child in a state controlled by Republican governors and legislators where reproductive rights are severely limited, she may be faced with a minimum wage in the $7.50 range. Even if she worked constantly, she could not provide for that child.

Republicans under Trump have gutted Medicaid and threatened Obamacare or instituted unreasonable work requirements in many of these states. Food stamps have also come under attack, so adequate nutrition is threatened. If lucky enough to get to college, these kids will be faced with crippling debts.

Jennings caps off his specious argument for draconian birth policies by citing recent polls in which Trump is increasingly losing support among women voters. Could it be that because women must bear the chief responsibilities for child raising, perhaps they are now seeing that politicians who are truly pro-life oppose such ill-conceived policies?

Constance Mallinson, Woodland Hills


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