Letters to the Editor: Is the Republican Party just using Donald Trump?

Former President Trump
Former President Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Dallas on July 11.
(Associated Press)

To the editor: I often pose a question that invariably stumps my friends who support former President Trump: Where Trump enjoyed GOP control of the Senate for four years and the House for two, what did he accomplish that any capable, composed Republican president could not have done? (“Is Donald Trump losing his grip on the GOP? Don’t count on it,” Opinion, Aug. 3)

The most common answer involves securing COVID vaccines, but other countries produced effective vaccines as fast as the U.S. did.

Truth be told, most any other GOP president — a levelheaded one, with actual government expertise — could have achieved all Trump managed to do, but without trashing democratic norms and traditions


What Trump backers never admit is that he excels in just one key area: He holds sway over pliable voting masses.

Trump’s grip on the GOP is transactional. So long as he brings in the votes, most Republicans will disregard the long-term harm he does to our democracy.

Glenda Martel, Los Angeles


To the editor: With the vast majority of Republican elected officials still humoring Trump’s lies about a stolen election and rewriting history on his failed January coup, it’s clear that while the former president may have lost his grip on reality, he has not lost his grip on the GOP.

Columnist Jonah Goldberg laments the Trumpification of his party, but nothing will change until the party’s leaders have the courage to stand up to the ex-president and his worshipers. Still meekly genuflecting, they helped create their current predicament and have no one to blame but themselves.

If Republicans like Goldberg want their party back, they should stop whining and take it back.


Tim Paine, Burbank


To the editor: Trump’s influence correlates to the approval ratings of Democratic politicians.

Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election because of a series of missteps. The Democrats have lost the middle of the country because they fail to make inroads in rural America and don’t understand that constituency.

In 2020, Trump got more votes than any other presidential election winner except Joe Biden. His influence has waned, but it’s up to the Democrats to keep it at bay.

Tony Schaffer, Los Angeles