We at the Los Angeles Times are frequently called out by Donald Trump’s supporters for publishing more letters that criticize the president than speak approvingly of his job performance. My simple response to that is what it’s always been: We can only publish what we receive, and the opinions of our letter writers skew decisively against the president.
The coronavirus outbreak has exacerbated this trend. This week, submissions that responded critically to published letters defending the president’s handling of the crisis outnumbered all the pro-Trump missives we received. One letter, published April 8, that dismissed unflattering comparisons between the president and Queen Elizabeth II’s coronavirus response drew particularly pointed responses.
As I said, we can publish only what we get — and here’s what we received in response to letters defending Trump’s handling of the pandemic.
Eric Mulfinger of Altadena chalks up Trump adoration to delusion:
A letter writer described our president as the “patriarch father who is in charge” and the “fierce warrior soldier” fighting against this virus. These descriptions are so delusional that they are painful to read.
His vacillation and inaction for the first two months, combined with his pathetic need for public adulation and his denial of any responsibility, have brought us to a much worse place now than we would have with any other person as president.
We need a grown-up in charge.
Richard Dunn of Valley Glen wonders what counts as a “strong father”:
The letter describing Trump as a “strong father” in this crisis is a striking expression of the profound cultural divide in our country. Reality has been turned on its head.
Does a strong father proudly proclaim, “I don’t take responsibility at all”? Does a strong father cast blame anywhere he can to shift responsibility away from himself? Does a strong father pretend that he knows more than experts who have far more knowledge and experience than he does?
Does a strong father brag about his TV ratings during a pandemic? Does a strong father encourage his “children,” so to speak (the state governors), to fight each other to survive?
It is sad that values that most of us — Republicans and Democrats, men and women — have taken for granted all of our lives no longer hold as collective norms.
Stacey Cole of Lancaster takes issue with an April 4 letter blasting the media and Trump’s critics:
With all due respect, I believe the letter writer who wants more pro-Trump coverage may be confusing the Los Angeles Times with the “North Korea Times.”
This pandemic is completely intertwined with the way it has been handled from the start by the administration, including Trump’s prediction in late February that the virus would “disappear, like a miracle.”
Although he expects constant thanks and praise, I expect a worthy newspaper to provide us accurate information, which the L.A. Times is thankfully doing.