Letters to the Editor: The ridiculous idea that Obama voters were just as cultish as Trump followers

Presidents Trump and Obama on inauguration day, Jan. 20, 2017.
President Trump, left, talks with former President Obama after his inauguration in Washington on Jan. 20, 2017.
(Rob Carr / Associated Press)

To the editor: Columnist Jonah Goldberg is wrong if he thinks that those of us who supported President Obama were cult-like in the manner of President Trump’s acolytes, or that when liberals were unhappy with President George W. Bush, we were concerned he would try to usurp power illegally.

This Trump worship is so different, so inexplicable. For me, it comes down to this: Trump is a bad human, and our president should be a good human.

To answer Goldberg’s question, I am a liberal, but I will never support a demagogue of any stripe.


Isabel Rigney, Upland


To the editor: Goldberg raises the legitimate question of whether liberals are capable of slavishly following a demagogue the way Trump followers do, and for an example from the left he chooses (wait for it) Barack Obama.

Goldberg writes, “I’m not trying to equate Obama and Trump,” but then he proceeds to do precisely that. He writes about Obama’s “cult of personality” and suggests his followers were subject to “hysteria, groupthink and political worship.”

Let me explain why people like me love Obama.

He’s a model husband and father. He keeps reminding us that our messy, contentious politics moves toward justice in the long run. He brought affordable healthcare to more than 20 million Americans. He gave science a prominent role in his administration and led the way on the Paris climate agreement.

This is not what demagogues do. Goldberg needs to come up with a better example.

Peter Coonradt, Redlands


To the editor: Democrats had their own Trump-like demagogue in the form of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Subtract “Mexican rapists” and “the New York Times” from a Trump speech, add “millionaires and billionaires,” and you’ll get a Sanders speech: Here are the villains standing between us and the kind of country we want.

Primary voters ultimately rejected Sanders. Whether a genuine distaste for demagoguery motivated them more than calculations of electability remains to be seen.

The picture will grow clearer as we watch the career trajectory of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.).

Michael Smith, Georgetown, Ky.


To the Editor: I agree with Goldberg. We Democrats can be blind to our flaws.

For example, while we were feeling empowered by Obama and his shiny speeches and focused on national issues, the Republicans took power in statehouses and governorships. This led directly to recent battles over gerrymandering and voter suppression.

So, when we Democrats cry foul over stolen Supreme Court seats, we should remember that all Senate votes can be traced back, ultimately, to who gets elected in the states.

May we Democrats rise to the challenge of governing well when we are in power.

Evelyn Baran, Beverly Hills