Sunset Over the Venice Breakwater

Photo by Kris Dahlin

Re: Letters, Aug. 13, 2020 “Putin’s Puppet”

Diatribes with no meaning are somewhat worthless when discussing politics. This is the case with a recent letter to the editor [by Jake Pickering]. A lot of insults and insinuations of Trump with no support of the accusations. It reminds me of several theses of the Democratic Party. “We are going to regain the soul of the party,” they say. But looking around and observing destroyed and defaced public buildings, torn down public statues, defunding the police, which will seriously hurt the minority communities, and a substantial rise in crime in big cities run by Democrats, do we really want this soul? “We want to unify America,” they say. This is from a party from the first day of Trump’s election that wanted to bring him down despite him winning the election. It’s all a big joke…. and then it isn’t.

Frank McGinity

Westwood

Facing Down Trump’s Cult

Here is my morning’s essay rant: Sometimes I try to place myself in the reality so many of Trump’s supporters inhabit. It feels a little like putting on a Halloween costume, and assuming a character while believing a role for an entertaining event in the company of other celebrants. But the deeper I plunge into the role, the more frightening it becomes. It is like people are willing to drop poisoned candy into my bag.

I think about how dangerous it is to live in today’s world without understanding basic science and allowing superstition to eclipse the reality we actually face. LSD in the ’60s taught many in my generation that you can actually choose nearly whatever reality you want for the duration of the chemical dose’s effects (and well beyond for some), but most of us came to recognize the world we live in as the common reality we must manage for the long run.

Considering and perhaps sympathizing with alternate realities provides a way to measure your own beliefs and perceptions. Having endured real threatening experiences, I can empathize with terrors others feel. But I’ve now lived long enough to discriminate between prejudice, parented irrational fears and those that require real defensive actions. From that perspective, I can understand how innocent thinkers can become enlisted in xenophobic armies.

I remember when parents would pay rescuers to “kidnap” their children home from the Moonies to correct “deprogramming.” That vision shapes my point of view regarding the most zealous of Trump’s supporters as a dangerous cult, who, like COVID mask deniers, endanger us all.

Now that objective facts have been so successfully obscured and informative journalism has been discredited, how is this dangerous cult cohort to be challenged? Logical persuasion techniques are mostly ineffective, and finding a way to redirect the passions imagined threats have built up for these people has been an elusive navigational challenge.

The only remedy I see in the near future is to simply beat the cr*p out of them in November’s election. Everyone — please help inform others how important it will be to vote for the future we want rather than the present Trump has given us.

Tim Tunks,

Ocean Park, Santa Monics

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