Letters to the Editor

Conservative checklist, Trump vote, Taft sketches

The Fox Theatre in Taft.
The Fox Theatre in Taft. Special to The Bee

An ethos that is a cornerstone

Re “Trump’s triumph should signal an end to ‘checklist conservatism’ ” (Forum, Nov. 20): Ben Boychuk’s essay on Donald Trump’s differences from traditional conservatives provides interesting points for discussion. However, the “multicultural ethos” that Boychuk claims is toxic is in fact a cornerstone of our vibrant community.

We should not reject the desire to live in a nation that embraces all cultures. It is that vision that sets the U.S. apart and contributes to our economic success. And we should not condone those who suggest that one culture defines who we are as Americans.

Boychuk is creating revisionist history by saying that Trump was a proponent of assimilation, a word that Trump’s simplistic viewpoint never expressed or even suggested. But he did denigrate several groups of people – Mexicans, African Americans, women, Muslims and even respected men of his own party. His real sin is his disrespect for other human beings. It’s not a character trait that we should accept or hope that others will assimilate.

Stephanie Harralson,


Finally, Boychuk tells it like it is

I have difficulty accepting that The Bee published an honest description of who Donald Trump really is and how he will govern. He is not a conservative. He is a populist. He is a salesman who understands his customers better than anyone.

The good old boys, the in-crowd, those who have grown obese and happy with their control of the Republican Party are now looking for a secret cream to repair their politically acne-scarred face. They are diagnosed by Boychuk as stale, overweight, unresponsive conservatives who cannot stop going to the refrigerator for another piece of American pie.

Russ Brown, Carmichael

Trump a dangerous hybrid politician

Ben Boychuk is only partially correct in stating that Donald Trump represents some kind of new politician. Boychuk repeats that now standard “list” of what makes Trump different, like Trump’s support for massive infrastructure spending or his opposition to the Iraq War (he wasn’t). What Boychuk failed to mention was how dangerous Trump’s positions really are.

This brand of politics has been seen before and was reflected in the “national socialism” of the Italian and German fascists. Like the fascists of old, Trump plays on economic fears and strokes racial resentments while making grandiose promises to make “America great again” through prodigious public spending.

Boychuk and other principled conservatives need to stop fooling themselves and recognize who Trump is and what he represents – a dangerously different brand of politics that threatens American values, not some new political hybrid.

Michael Keesee,


Trump supporters don’t feel guilty

Re “Hey, Trump supporters! Is guilt creeping up on you yet?”) (Forum, Nov. 20): Erika Smith illustrates exactly why many people voted for Donald Trump. His supporters are sick and tired of being called racist, homophobic, Islamophobic, deplorable and every nasty thing liberals can think of simply because they did not support elitist Hillary Clinton.

If Smith would like to give examples of intolerance, let’s start with the violence in Portland, Ore., after the election. There was no such violence by conservatives after Barack Obama was elected president. The Republicans didn’t like it, but accepted the results with dignity, civility and respect for the constitutional process.

Trump supporters are not feeling guilty. We have a president who will represent everybody, not just those living in Hollywood, the Hamptons and Silicon Valley. Trump heard the voices of the unemployed, underemployed, working poor and middle class. There is nothing racist or intolerant about wanting a better life for your family.

Smith’s comments are ridiculous and offensive.

Deborah Hall McMicking, San Francisco

I do not feel guilty about Trump vote

I voted for Donald Trump. I do not feel guilty, and I do not need your approval.

You were free to vote for the candidate of your choice, as is your privilege. Racism and discrimination are interesting in that they operate from many different viewpoints. Not all white people were raised in the South. I was never taught to form relationships based on how people look. Much more important to my family is a person who is educated and contributes to society. Please don’t look at me and assume you know all about me.

I voted for the future of the Supreme Court, to save the lives of unborn children who have no voice, to call an end to big government which has put us in debt, and to get us on the track of documenting our citizens.

Millions of people on this earth would love to be you.

Susan Deatherage,


Remorse over guilt may come in time

Erika Smith’s column expresses the hope that Donald Trump voters will feel guilt. More interesting is if and when they will feel remorse over the prospects of losing their Social Security, losing their health insurance, discovering that those overseas jobs are not really ever coming back, noting that Trump will not be locking Hillary up as promised, and facing threats to clean air, clean water and healthy food through wholesale deregulation of hard-fought consumer protection policies and laws. They will find out what was really in his mind when he promised to “make America great again.”

Ah, well, they can always put the blame on Barack Obama.

Alan D. Wade, Sacramento

A self-serving, insulting column

My wife and I found Erika Smith’s column to be self-serving, insulting and using her logic, bordering on racism.

Using a personal pronoun 28 times in the article, she pointed out a transgressor’s “wrinkled white hand” while pointing out two of her role models as Maya Angelou and Oprah Winfrey. She went on to call voting for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton as having committed an “electoral sin” and refers to alleged conversations about voting for Trump as a confession.

The main thrust of her column is that Trump voters bear responsibility for the holocaust that is sure to come from Trump being elected. A question I would ask her, does she bear guilt for actions taken by President Barack Obama supporters during his term?

Give Trump a chance. For now, just grab a safety pin and turn on “The View.”

David Flaa, Elverta

Is Smith hearing confessions?

Erika Smith is going to be awfully lonely in the confessional, and with all that time on her hands, perhaps she can reflect on the failed socio-political policies of the past eight years which gave rise to her candidate’s failure.

Her congregation of lost souls, the middle-aged white men she so openly loathes, will be too busy to show up, what with all our mustache-twisting plots smacking of racism and misogyny.

There is a new church in town, and if she wants to catch up with the times, I can point it out with my wrinkled white hand.

Dennis Gallagher,


Voters held noses, chose policies

Voters, who Erika Smith attempts to assign guilt on race and bigotry, have bigger concerns. Nowhere does she mention that many people held their noses and voted on policies, the Supreme Court, sanctuary cities and not wanting further drift toward socialism. Couple those with Obamacare premiums spiking, growing concerns of America being weak on the world stage when it comes to North Korea, China, Russia, Iran and terror, and we have some answers.

Doug Hinchey, Lincoln

Irresponsible journalism

I read Erika Smith’s column because, even though I voted for Donald Trump, I am curious about other perspectives. I understand the basis of Smith’s fear of what might happen during Trump’s presidency.

Initially I was disappointed to find no new thoughts or ideas in her article. I was shocked that she promoted the idea that those of us who voted for Trump should be held responsible for any terrible things that might happen during his presidency.

Many of the acts Smith wants to blame us for are things that have happened throughout Barack Obama’s presidency. We are all aware of many acts of hate during the last eight years. Should we blame those events on the people who voted for Obama?

I’m tired of feeling more and more separated. I sincerely hope that we will see a time where we all call ourselves Americans.

Josef Nairn, Sacramento

Thanks for the memories of Taft

Re “Taft grew out of California’s oil fields” (Forum, Nov. 20): Thanks for the article and California sketches about Taft. It brought back many fond memories. My dad grew up in Taft in the 1930s and 40s, and loved being raised there. He met my mother there when they were in their early teens. She was visiting her grandparents there.

My grandfather was a police officer in Taft. One of my cherished pictures is of him on his Harley-Davidson police bike. He died at an early age, and my grandmother remarried a man named A.B. Smith, who was one of the town’s founding fathers and City Council members. He built the house I remember visiting when I was little.

We used to walk to the Fox Theatre to watch matinees. He also built the two-story building at the corner of Center Street and Fifth Street and operated his business there, Smith Brother’s Clothiers. Last I knew, it housed an antique store and has one of the restored pumping units in front of it.

Russ Blair, Citrus Heights


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