Your article "Relief and Despair" (Nov. 12, 2020) by the tremendous duo Jennifer Fumiko Cahill and Thadeus Greenson was beautifully stated. It came as close to expressing where we are as a nation and as a small piece of the machinery existing in a complex world. They did this without insulting those among us who would prefer simplifying everything down to the false claims of a mentally ill leader. (I am not so evenhanded.)
This country seems irredeemably riven between those who accept science and those deny science. The polarization seems close to a 50/50 split. Accordingly — and because it's already colored in for us on many maps — we will have one nation on both coasts and the other in the "heartland." Every citizen would be given the right and the finances to select either. The bi-coastal nation would have a focus on embracing the future and working toward the philosophical underpinings of a just society. The other, thriving in the heartland of Republican exclusion, would continue to insulate iself from tawdry progressivism, and erect walls of fascistic impregnability that would allow them to worship whatever idols they can tolerate, whether god, mammon or Trump.
In 2016, I said that Trump would never be president. I made that declaration as a citizen, but also as a psychologist. I put my reputation on the line because my training told me a mentally ill person would never be accepted for that position. What I did not understand is that too many of us are confused as to what mental illness is. We have suffered egregiously for that confusion. We must not be so equanimous about the prospect of Trump 2024.
Larry Hourany, McKinleyville
Here's what I want to ask people who support Trump's claim of electoral fraud: "Have you ever in the last 20 years or more said that the U.S. was a fine democracy, a great country?" Because one of the absolutely essential elements of a great country is free and fair, honest elections. That has been true of our country my entire life and I'm on the older end of that cycle. Nobody claimed otherwise in the 2016 election. But now, all of a sudden, we have a rigged election. OK, I'll buy it if they tell me how votes for Trump were held back but votes for Republican House and Senate candidates were let through.
David Callow, Glendale
Thankfully, Donald Trump is occupying less and less space in my brain. But there's one image I can't shake: When Trump returned from the hospital, stood at the top of the White House steps, contemptuously took off his mask, and gave a military salute. It was as if the mighty Trump, having just vanquished the feeble virus in battle, was ungirding his manly loins after his decisive victory. In subsequent weeks, Trump drew large, mostly maskless crowds to countless super-spreader rallies. We will never know how much suffering, disability, and death followed in his wake. Shame.
Brian Julian, Blue Lake