Mr. Brennan's letter (Mailbox, Dec. 15) shows how democracy fails when the electorate is uninformed and unwilling or unable to think.
Our system led to the election of a man who spent eight years spreading a racist lie intended to delegitimize the first elected mixed race president; a man who has left behind a trail of shafted colleagues, contractors and clients; a man who denies climate change, among other realities; a man who seems incapable of treating women like people; a man who has the gravitas of a delinquent and damaged fifth grader.
Mr. Brennan finds this exciting because, he says, "Trump believes America and Americans should come first." Which candidate was arguing against America and Americans? Take a moment, Mr. Brennan, and see if you can come up with a coherent sentence explaining how Mr. Trump will help "Americans" in a way Ms. Clinton would not. By building a wall? By abandoning our alliances? By aligning our country's 0.01 percent with the kleptocrats running Russia?
I agree that neither party has successfully addressed the needs of American workers who have been trashed and impoverished by automation and world trade. In my opinion, it's as simple as this: The parties have built and preserved the wealth of the people who bought and own them, rather than respond to the increasingly desperate needs of the people they have pretended to represent. President Obama, in my opinion, was an example of the absolute best that a good, kind and brilliant man could accomplish peacefully, given the constraints imposed as a result of the long-ago collapse of any semblance of true democracy in this country.
I agree with Mr. Brennan about one thing: The country faces problems. People who would vote for a person like our new president-elect, fantasizing that he will improve things, are about the largest problem the country faces. How can anyone hope to improve things when their neighbors are so easily fooled by a classic demagogue?
Mitch Trachtenberg, Trinidad
Rick Brennan (Mailbox, Dec. 15) can gloat about how the "elites" got "shellacked" all he wants. (Your candidate — for all your attempts to spin it otherwise — lost the popular vote by a significant margin, and was only declared the winner by virtue of a system ironically intended to prevent unprincipled demagogues from seizing control. But that's a long story in its own right into which we won't delve at the moment.)
He can insist that his guy "believes America and Americans should come first" until the end of time, if he so chooses. It remains that, when applied to an unabashedly self-aggrandizing 1-percenter who ran on a campaign of open divisiveness and the disenfranchisement of the most vulnerable citizens of this nation, such rhetoric verges on self-parody. (And the less said of lionizing him as a "revolutionary," the better.)
Here, I'm sure, is where the usual reactionary battle cry of "sore loser" goes up. In the interests of taking the high ground, I will refrain from comparing and contrasting people's concerns about the ramifications of this fiasco with the behavior of McCain and Romney supporters — who had far less at stake — after the last two elections.
K.A. Green-Wall, Eureka
The election of Donald Trump is an American Tragedy. Every day he proves he is mentally unfit and morally bankrupt. He is a chronic liar whose word means nothing. Trump does not give a damn about the damage he is causing our democracy. He promised to drain the swamp, but is busy filling it with oily vulture capitalists, corrupt billionaires, climate denial experts on the payroll of big oil and wacko chicken hawks that have never been in a war, but are dying to start one.
Trump is so arrogant, ignorant and egotistical that he doesn't believe the FBI or the CIA. He is not even in office and is already spreading false rumors and making trouble with China. Trump supporters put him in office, so don't cry when you can't breathe the air or drink the poisoned water. Expect corruption on a scale that has never been seen before.
Larry A. Lange, Bayside