Article points out our naiveté
Re “The dark side of Americans’ exceptional self-image” (Forum, Feb. 12): Good thoughtful article! John Berthelsen reviewed the myth that the U.S. is unique in good intentions in international affairs. Plus how such arrogant thinking can go terribly wrong.
Then we wonder why countries seem to be battling us. “We are an exceptionally good people, no?” Let’s learn how U.S. actions hurt Guatemala or Chile. Or how our coup in Iran in 1953 led to U.S. hostages in 1977 and continuing battles today.
Without history, we say naively: “Why are they so angry?” When we should honestly say: “Oh, we overthrew their democratically elected government.”
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I hope we hear more from this author.
Andy Faletti, Davis
Speaking up for a positive America
John Berthelsen does a good job showing the two sides of American exceptionalism. He doesn’t mention a few more parts of the good side: America has been inspiring others to support health initiatives like the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and malaria.
Most importantly, Berthelsen doesn’t mention that it is up to each of us to determine which side of American exceptionalism will be used in our modern world. Our calls and letters to our elected representatives and our new president can make sure we stay on the side of saving lives and bringing hope to people in our world, and help prevent the “dark side of American exceptionalism.”
It’s time for women to lead the nation
John Berthelsen brings up the introduction of the concept of American exceptionalism by de Tocqueville almost 200 years ago. As I recall, de Tocqueville also attributed the growing prosperity and strength of America to “the superiority of their women,” on which subject he was known to wax more or less eloquent.
Times have changed, but America has certainly lagged behind much of the rest of the world in the area of leadership by these noticeably superior women, which is a terrible disgrace and partly responsible for the mess we’re in now.
Starting with the march on Washington that involved millions, it is really time for American women to step up and lead.
Nora J Coryell, Jackson
Critical reading is wishful thinking
Re “We need to learn to read (critically) again” (Forum, Feb. 12): One would love to agree with Dr. Greg Sazima, but his opinion that civil society is evolving to prefer validated news appears to be mere wishful thinking.
The big lesson of 2016 is that a very large sector of the population embraced fake news with enthusiasm, largely because it stoked their hatred and mistrust of the Clintons. It was a good, old-fashioned witch hunt on a national scale. Even self-proclaimed patriots avidly followed and quoted Russian news with approval from early 2016.
Sazima has raised an important question: How can we reverse the dismal trend and encourage a national interest in validated news?
Gary B. Palmer,
Hate speech hiding as free speech
Re “State’s colleges should renew commitment to free speech” (Viewpoints, Feb. 12): The new conservative Roseville assemblyman would have us believe that disruption at UC Berkeley was the fault of “free speech” being denied. Nonsense.
Freedom of speech means everyone has their time to speak but in order or no one will have a time to speak. The University of California disruption has been described elsewhere as a “talk ... canceled after a peaceful protest turned violent, thanks to outside agitators.” Then who benefited by the actual disruption?
I believe that the university does a good job in managing free speech on the campus. They certainly have the long-term experience in successfully doing so. I believe that if our new representative had a little more experience with the university and its policies he would learn that for Milo Yiannopoulus, editor of the nationally known Breitbart News and often characterized as the internet’s biggest troll, it is just about the money.
Reginald Bronner, Lincoln
GOP should focus on facts
In his attack on protesters attempting to stop alt-right Milo Yiannopoulos’ speech at Berkeley, Republican Kevin Kiley ignores the facts. He puts aside the real instigators of the violence in a brief sentence to focus on alleged attempts amongst the left to stifle free speech. These are “alternative facts.”
The source of the violence, the so-called “Black Bloc,” are the people upon whom Kiley should focus. These anarchists’ goals are aligned to those on the right, not the left.
The right believes in less government. The anarchists believe in no government. Who benefits from the Black Bloc’s violence? The alt-right.
It’s not factual to lump the Black Bloc with liberals peacefully protesting. They’re the tools of the right, while liberals treasure free speech.
Suz deMello, Sacramento
Celebrating women in Congress
Re “GOP women have made big strides; more work is ahead” (Viewpoints, Feb. 12): I live in the 45th Congressional District. I find it exceedingly odd that Rep. Mimi Walters celebrates only Republican women when in our current Congress 104 women have been elected, of which 78 (the majority) are Democrats, and in the Senate 21 women hold seats, with 16 of them Democrats.
Democrats unfortunately have done a better job with women, wouldn’t you say?
Lawrence Michael Light, Mission Viejo
Rep. Walters not easy to contact
I had some questions for Rep. Mimi Walters after reading her well-considered op-ed. So I carefully composed a respectable email and tried to contact her. Alas, I cannot email her because I don’t live in her district, the 45th, which is in Orange County in Southern California.
I only wanted to ask her what she meant when she said “conservative values,” but I guess I’ll never know.
Susan Hunn, Camino
Nordstrom vs. Tesla hypocrisy?
Re “Tesla leads way on electric cars” (Editorials, Feb. 12): The Bee’s editorial board has been eager to express its outrage over Kellyanne Conway’s quip about Nordstom’s discontinuance of Ivanka Trump’s clothing line, but sees no problem with providing free advertising for Tesla’s “really cool” Model 3 sedan.
Apparently, what is bad for the goose is good for the gander.
John Bersinger, Folsom
There is no wait for the Chevy Bolt
Thanks for pointing out the positive direction forward that electric cars represent. To be noted: Rather than waiting for the next Tesla, one can buy a Chevy Bolt now.
Newsom, what a guy!
Re “In his bid for governorship, Newsom riding Golden State’s anti-Trump wave” (Forum, Feb. 12): It’s amazing how we have gotten along with this guy. The lieutenant governor’s office is a 19th century relic that really needs to go, since the duties are largely made up in some attempt to justify a given occupant of said office.
Maybe back when the clipper ship didn’t make it around the horn or the Pony Express didn’t get through this was a necessary office. Now it is a six-figure sinecure whose current occupant thinks he knows what California citizens need. Like legal weed, but not legitimate ammunition purchases, or just another suit that cannot accept the president.
Andrew Mattson, Roseville
Trump as president is great news
Re “Showing Trump the exit by 2018, or before” (Viewpoints, Feb. 12): I turned 71 the last day of January. President Donald Trump’s Cabinet and other governmental leadership selections represent a threat to every liberal achievement during my lifetime. Happy birthday to me!
After enduring, and I mean enduring, the past eight years of President Barack Obama, Trump’s presidency is great news.
Kathleen Parker surely can put up with the next four years of less government, a strong military, and a strong economy and secure national borders. Thank your lucky stars that you did not own a small business during the past eight years.
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