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Letters to the Editor: The myth of Americans coming together after a catastrophe

Washington protest
Demonstrators against Washington state’s stay-at-home order gather at the Capitol in Olympia on April 19.
(Elaine Thompson / Associated Press)

To the editor: The claims of columnist Doyle McManus notwithstanding, crises have always divided, rather than united, the so-called United States.

The Civil War rages on ideologically today, with red states and blue states in our divided country. Not just Charles Lindbergh and his followers, but also many loyal Americans opposed our entry into World War II, even after Pearl Harbor. The Vietnam War tore the country apart, with those who protested and refused to serve in a war they saw as unjust and immoral being told by supporters of the carnage that they could love America or leave it.

Mythologizers like McManus blind Americans to the realities of their own shared history.

Leigh Clark, Granada Hills

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To the editor: I will never forget that moment after the 9/11 attacks when members of Congress stood on the steps of the Capitol joining in the singing of “God Bless America.” It was a statement of profound unity irrespective of political party or ideology. We knew we were one people together in mourning, resilience and dedication to our nation.

McManus elucidates how different times are now. I had more than one disagreement with George W. Bush, but I never doubted that he was my president at a time when leadership was crucial.

In contrast, President Trump not only fails to unite the country, he also goes out of his way to pit people, communities and institutions against one another. He has exacerbated distrust to a level that may be irreversible.

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In this day and age, it is hard to call ourselves one nation under God with liberty and justice for all.

Barbara H. Bergen, Los Angeles

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To the editor: The irony of McManus’ column is evident. One need to look no further than the front page of the very same print edition to find two politically divisive articles on Trump.

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I prefer Gov. Gavin Newsom’s approach. He refuses to play the blame game.

Richard Law, Capistrano Beach


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