Letters to the Editor: Angry Republicans in rural California should try understanding urban liberals

A pall of yellow smoke from the Dixie fire blankets the town of Susanville, Calif., on Aug. 20.
A pall of yellow smoke from the Dixie fire blankets the town of Susanville, Calif., on Aug. 20. The town’s population has declined dramatically in the last 20 years.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: I am genuinely sorry for the fate of communities in California’s far north, where voters feel marginalized in a state that overwhelmingly rejected the recall of Gov. Gavin Newsom that they enthusiastically supported.

I do not wish to paint these people with too broad a brush, but it’s safe to say many of them believe strange election conspiracy theories, discount the COVID-19 pandemic, reject the science of global warming and are more likely to support overthrowing the federal government. The maladies of burning forests and economic decline that affect people in these areas are also products of the very policies that they supported by voting for anti-environment and pro-big business politicians.

Conservatives in California are vastly outnumbered by voters who are invested in a very different set of beliefs, which seem to have helped us weather the pandemic better than the rest of the nation and develop pro-growth green energy policies.


I am not uninterested in learning more about California’s far north, but perhaps the conservatives there who feel misunderstood should also better understand their more liberal neighbors.

James Clark, La Cañada Flintridge


To the editor: After reading about the anger and resentment in California’s rural communities, I feel hopeless and sad. Everyone seems to be lashing out so they can feel a little better. Newsom was a target for these emotions, and no one really seemed to express any actual ideas.

What is going on with us humans? How did it come to this, with alienation and loneliness so common? More importantly, what can be done about it now?

It seems that our democratic experiment is unraveling before our eyes. Those who are so mad at everything and everyone do not seem to be familiar with one important lesson of history: The destruction of what we hold dear begins from within.

We need to heed this warning, as the message from within is being shouted loud and clear.

Susan Miller Fink, Los Angeles



To the editor: It’s hard not to feel sympathy for Californians who feel like they are ignored in a left-wing state. However, a couple of things should be noted.

First, most of the forests that are burning — indeed, most of the forests in the state — are managed by the federal government, which if my memory serves was recently run by a president these voters enthusiastically supported.

Second, as one of the interviewees noted, the recall election cost a lot of money. Well, I have to pay for some of that, so thank you for wasting my money.

Third, Republicans are selling ideas that most of the country doesn’t want to buy. Sure, Congress has a lot of Republicans, but the 50 who are in the Senate represent about 43% of all Americans, and the combined population of Montana, Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming is less than one-sixth of California’s. Yet these states together have 10 senators.

The answer might be to break up California into five states, but the real answer is for everyone to stop being so tribal and start being Californian.

For years, California has had the largest delegation in Congress. What has it profited us? If the people we send to Congress would start acting like Californians, we’d be better off.


So I repeat, it’s not hard to feel sympathy for my fellow Californians.

Ron Smith, Valencia