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Letters to the Editor: Left and right don’t share the same facts. How is civil discourse possible?

Supporters of President Trump rally in Beverly Hills on Nov. 7.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Reading their last exchange on whether it’s possible for conservatives and liberals to find common ground, I was dismayed that The Times’ Robin Abcarian and former Republican operative Scott Jennings were so dismissive of each other.

I would pose a different question to them: Is there a single news source that both Abcarian and Jennings can agree presents facts without opinion?

Left and right now exist in their own echo chambers. I tried watching both CNN and Fox News in the days after the election, and it gave me whiplash.

Without agreed-upon facts, meaningful discourse or compromise cannot be achieved, and social media drives a bigger wedge between our perspectives. The way things are going, I only see us moving farther apart.

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Linnea Luker, Canoga Park

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To the editor: Please continue publishing the debates between Jennings and Abcarian.

These conversations have been some of the most illuminating articles in the L.A. Times over the last few months. They give readers insight into opposing arguments and biases, while keeping the debate civil and respectful.

The inability to find any common ground between the two journalists is disconcerting, but printing this conversation has been giving the public motivation to keep open the dialog with friends and family members on the opposite sides of the national divide.

Irina Dubovitsky, Los Angeles

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To the editor: Contrary to this exchange helping us understand how our polarized society draws different conclusions from the same set of facts, it served merely as an example.

Had Abcarian taken seriously Jennings’ point that the Black share of the Georgia vote decreased this election, she might have addressed how that could have happened. They could have discussed what Democrats might learn not only for the sake of the disenfranchised Blacks, but for the Republicans who see Democrats as they might.

Conversely, Jennings could have stretched to understand Abcarian viewing Trump as anathema to the left’s yearning for Americans to restore the primacy of shared values.

Not feeling heard by the other is what’s missing in our national conversation. Continue these columns only if Jennings and Abcarian agree to try to listen to each other.

Roger Schwarz, Los Angeles


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