Letters to the Editor: Trump vowed to end ‘American carnage.’ Now, he’s looking the other way from it

White House protests
Police form a line near the White House as protesters gather in Washington on May 31.
(Associated Press)

To the editor: “American carnage” was the theme of President Trump’s inaugural address in January 2017. More than three years into his term, the “I alone can fix it” reality-TV president is presiding over actual carnage in American cities resulting from the police killing of a black man, George Floyd, in Minneapolis. (“‘Chaos or community?’ Dr. King asked. Trump is pushing us toward chaos,” editorial, May 30)

At the same time, he presides over a nation that makes up 4% of the world’s population but accounts for nearly one-third of all global deaths from COVID-19. The unemployment rate is at Great Depression levels. The virus-related criticism was a hoax, and police officers should treat suspects harshly, according to Trump.

Distrust and alienation are at high points at this fragile moment in our nation’s history. At least, what we need from a man who received 63 million votes in 2016 is to listen to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s pleas for community and Rodney King’s, “Can’t we all just get along?”


The “stable genius” told us he was going to make America great again, but pandemic, riots and record unemployment are our lot today. Vote!

Philip S. Hart, Los Feliz


To the editor: Why does everything have to be about Trump?

Editorials are supposed to turn people on and make them think; the Los Angeles Times Editorial Board offers no diversity of ideas and turns people off.

The looting and vandalism have nothing to do with Trump. To minimize this chaos and the negative impact it has had on our society is appalling. Many small businesses are ruined and will never recover. Their employees will lose their jobs.

The calm and reason of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti that the board praised has invited this looting, caused chaos and resulted in the loss of confidence in our institutions. At a crucial time, this editorial board has failed to deliver.

William R. Fado, Pacific Palisades


To the editor: One of our most revered founders, Thomas Jefferson, wrote that a “little rebellion now and then is a good thing” and suspected that it would happen every 20 years or so. Our incendiary, rebellious proclivities were foretold by our Constitution.

In times of crisis, what we need most is a statesman. Statements about having protesters “greeted with the most vicious dogs” and boasting that federal agents are “just waiting for action” serves to ignite the powder in our flash pan.

I long for the likes of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. When Dr. King was murdered, Kennedy comforted the grieving. He urged them to honor King’s memory and not torch their city. He well understood the legacy of rebellion. That is leadership.

I worked at the Justice Department, as a federal prosecutor for presidents from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama, and I never prayed at my job. But I am praying now.

I pray for the police to use good judgment and to be safe, I pray for the protesters that their message is heard, and I chastise those who exploit the freedom of protest by devolving into nihilistic looting and destruction. They do not speak for me.

I pray most for new leadership in November.

Julie A. Werner-Simon, Santa Monica


To the editor: Trump is an elected official, a public servant charged with helping all people in our nation.

This is a nation currently in crisis — a crisis of racism that has reached a terrible point of disregard for black lives, made obvious by a policeman who in front of phone cameras calmly pressed his knee on the neck of an African American man until he died.

This is a nation in crisis, with more than 100,000 lives lost to a coronavirus that has disproportionately affected minorities, and with a president and others who refuse to wear masks to save lives.

This is a nation in crisis, with a president who uses these tragedies to further divide us and promote his negative agenda and stay in power.

Trump is the antithesis of a public servant.

Joan Horn, Carlsbad