Letters to the Editor: Trump refused to denounce white supremacists. Is George Wallace president?

President Trump at his first debate with Joe Biden
President Trump listens during the first presidential debate with Joe Biden in Cleveland on Sept. 29.
(Associated Press)

To the editor: I have been a subscriber to the Los Angeles Times for more than 47 years. During that time, I have been compelled to write a letter to the editor only twice: once during the “chokehold era” at the Los Angeles Police Department, and then after the monstrous killing of George Floyd. (“Trump’s bullying was an insult to the American people,” editorial, Sept. 29)

Now, I am beyond outraged at the conduct and rhetoric of President Trump during his first debate with former Vice President Joe Biden. He refused to clearly denounce white supremacist groups, even telling one in particular to “stand down and stand by.”

This is the most despicable display of overt racism that I’ve seen in my 70 years since the days of Alabama Gov. George Wallace. The Dixie Democrats who went to the Republican Party have finally found their next Wallace or Jefferson Davis.


Racism is not dead in America, because for many Americans the Civil War never really ended. Personally, I will not stand down and stand by; I will vote.

Leonard Baker, Los Angeles


To the editor: Trump’s bullying behavior in the first “debate” makes me wonder that if he’s like this in public, he must be truly horrific in private. No wonder he has so many ex-staffers willing to write tell-alls.

So, a suggestion for the next debate: Borrow the old setup from the 1950s quiz show “The $64,000 Question,” and put the candidates in sound-proof booths. Each can speak for his allotted time with his microphone on, while the other candidate’s microphone is off, guaranteeing no interruptions. Both microphones go off when the moderator is speaking.

That way, Trump can shout all he wants in his own little booth, but no one will hear him until it’s his turn to speak.

Vicki Torres, Sherman Oaks



To the editor: As I watched the vicious “debate,” I couldn’t help but wonder in astonishment how it came to be that the greatest nation on Earth could only proffer these two unqualified old men as its possible leaders.

Clearly, we need a third party. The current political system in this nation is not working because it won’t allow true leaders to lead.

Michael Pravica, Henderson, Nev.


To the editor: I imagine most citizens agree that the first debate was difficult to watch. Any chance for civility and truth was destroyed early on by the usual Trump rampages.

That aside, I couldn’t help but notice the contrast in post-debate assessments aired by conservative and liberal cable news outlets. It makes one wonder if we live on two different planets.

Why don’t we dispense with rounds two and three of Trump versus Biden, and invite a debate between, let’s say, Rachel Maddow and Sean Hannity, then Don Lemon and Tucker Carlson? The moderator could present a proven fact supported by evidence, then allow for debate on that subject.


Doing this may provide a greater insight into how the various factions come to their beliefs.

Rick Cohen, Avila Beach


To the editor: I have occasionally seen some unruly children act like Trump when they disrupted a family gathering, a restaurant meal or a classroom. You could take away a toy or send the child to bed or to the principal’s office.

In my 91 years I have never seen an adult act like Trump did in the debate. No supper for Trump? No more tweeting?

Send him to Mar-a-Lago; just don’t give him four more years in the Oval Office.

Irving Weinstein, Ventura

To the editor: As a third-grade teacher participating in distance learning, I have an idea for the next debate moderator: Record the whole event on Zoom, where you can remotely mute each candidate when his two minutes are complete.


My 8-year-olds have benefitted from this gentle reminder of finding their mics locked. Maybe other children will too.

Janet Reid, San Pedro


To the editor: Your editorial on the debate said that “Americans can be excused for turning off the television in disgust.” This is too true.

My 21-year-old son, voting for the first time in a presidential election, texted me, “I could only watch 20 minutes of it. That debate was embarrassing.” How sad a spectacle for voters, young and old.

Amy Siroky, Arroyo Grande