Letters to the Editor: Amateurs like Trump are running for office because Americans are desperate


To the editor: Columnist Nicholas Goldberg need not puzzle over the growing amateurization of American politics. It’s far from “just nuts.”

A 2014 study by Princeton and Northwestern political scientists showed that the average American citizen has virtually no influence on U.S. government policy. This was not news to the citizenry, and it helps explain why someone with no experience in politics can get a leg up as a candidate for high office. As long as experienced politicians respond to moneyed interests as their only real constituency, an inexperienced outsider can reasonably seem like a preferred alternative.

But Goldberg is right about the predictably poor policy outcomes delivered by unqualified newbies who get elected.


So the result is this: Average American citizens have few real options for effective representation, and we are consigned to simply go through the motions of democracy, denied the chance to actually experience it.

William Yarchin, Huntington Beach


To the editor: I disagree with Goldberg’s column entirely.

First, this is not former President Trump’s legacy of opening the opportunity to political jobs to the inexperienced. It is said that he left a more ominous legacy than promoting less experienced people to run for office.

Second, it is time that a new paradigm be encouraged to allow all American citizens to enter politics without a famous name or military background. It should not take millions of dollars to be elected.

The celebrities Goldberg listed are mostly famous millionaires who can spend exorbitant amounts of money for their campaigns. There should be a strict limit on the spending and a return to the grass-roots campaigning of getting yourself out there with speeches and knocking on doors, like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-N.Y.) when she unseated a longtime incumbent in 2018.

Third, it’s time to get rid of the “career politicians.” They have been in politics too long, and we need term limits for all government leaders.

This country was founded by inexperienced politicians, and they didn’t do such a bad job.

Katherine Tripodes, San Marino


To the editor: People who don’t trust “career politicians” should be spared the irony of being treated by career physicians.

Jim Johnson, Whittier