Letters to the Editor: Trump’s defense of vigilantes is far more dangerous than any protester’s behavior

Demonstrators participate in a Black Lives Matter protest in Portland, Ore., on July 26.
(Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

To the editor: Jonah Goldberg bemoans the fact that although “truly outrageous bad behavior” by cops is statistically rare, the left unfairly claims that there is wholesale racial oppression by police.

Wrongful police homicide may be rare, but even more rare are “good cops” intervening to prevent it. And, for every such homicide, there are many more instances of a Black driver pulled over for a minor traffic issue or on the pretext of one.

Goldberg credits former Vice President Joe Biden for condemning violence and vigilantism, but he negates this by saying that “he took much too long to do it.” He fails to note that his election opponent fails to condemn violence from the right.


President Trump has defended the white vigilante who killed two protesters and wounded a third in Kenosha, Wis., and he has applauded his supporters in trucks who have attacked peaceful protesters with paintball guns and mace.

Of course, macing or shooting paintballs at protesters is assault, a fact completely ignored by the local police.

Cyril Barnert, Los Angeles


To the editor: As a longtime progressive Democrat, I see the need for some sanity in the party unless we want four more years of Trump. The fringe left, while small, is creating dangerous situations in Portland, Ore.; Kenosha, Wis.; and elsewhere.

Many good people are getting alarmed, and Biden, vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris and others in the Democratic Party need to speak forcefully against this dangerous trend.

Pandering to the far left is suicidal. People will vote for the law-and-order candidate when they perceive a threat.


Democrats have to condemn the dangerous excesses of the fringe left, just as Republicans need to call out Trump for his behavior and for the madness on the far right. Both edges are a threat to our republic.

Diana Beardsley, Los Angeles


To the editor: Radical ideas are important in a democracy. They inspire out-of-the-box thinking.

But moderation must always rule. Our new electronic age consistently gives the false impression that outliers are the norm.

Let’s work together to reduce the swing of the pendulum.

Greg Matheson, Tehachapi, Calif.