Letters to the Editor

GOP strategy, Japanese internment, phony war, state priorities

An audience member listens as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a rally at Iowa Central Community College this month.
An audience member listens as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a rally at Iowa Central Community College this month. The Associated Press

Lots of fear is the GOP’s strategy

Re “We feel besieged, Iowa’s GOP voters say” (Page 1A, Nov. 22): Apparently the GOP electorate in Iowa is frightened. It should not be a surprise to anyone. For most of my adult life I have observed the GOP relying more and more on fear to motivate the base. Nixon started it with his “Southern Strategy,” which was basically telling voters to fear blacks. Since then the GOP has built on that success by expanding things to fear while ceasing to worry about how to best govern the country.

Now, fear is all they have to peddle. Fear the gays, fear the liberals, fear the blacks and the browns, and people who haven’t learned English yet. Fear unions and people who think kids shouldn’t have to go to bed hungry. Fear refugees from war zones. Fear people who don’t share their religious views, fear communists, socialists and people who wonder why everyone in the country needs to own multiple guns. Fear facts, knowledge and science. So sad.

David Green, Placerville

You should know your history

Re “Prudent limits are not show of fear” (Letters, Nov. 24): The majority of Japanese Americans sent to internment camps in World War II were American citizens and there was not one documented incident of threat or sabotage.

I wonder how Robert Reark can claim that internment camps were created because we needed to “protect our country from foreigners who wanted to kill Americans.”

It should also be noted that German and Italian Americans weren’t generally “evacuated” to “camps” for the same reason. It is one thing for The Sacramento Bee to publish opinion but another to publish lies and total inaccuracies lest the unwitting general population believe them.

Virginia Herte, Fair Oaks

A nation’s disgrace revisited

No, Robert Reark, it was “fear,” not “anger” or prudence, along with a wartime propaganda strategy, that drove our government in 1942 to intern U.S. citizens of Japanese ancestry, taking their homes, lives and constitutional freedoms. We eventually admitted that it was wrong, unnecessary and violated basic human values.

But the stain hasn’t faded; and, now again, there are those prepared to repeat that tragic mistake, stomping on our most basic values – out of thoughtlessness, politics and cowardly fear – denying refuge to those innocents fleeing a war that they have no means of fighting.

Spencer P. Le Gate,


Send in Feinstein, Krauthammer

Re “Obama’s phony war on terror” (Viewpoints, Nov. 20): The drums of war are beating louder again in the U.S. The president is under pressure to do more, meaning boots on the ground. The solution: Send Charles Krauthammer and Sen. Dianne Feinstein to Germany to organize the tens of thousand of able-bodied Syrian men who have fled their homeland.

Then when trained into a formidable fighting force, they can lead them into battle and free their own people. Seriously, do you really want to again send our young men and women to die in somebody else’s battle? Do we really want to get into another Vietnam, Iraq or Afghanistan?

George Lidgett,


There is more than one priority

Re “California’s priority should be water, not high-speed rail” (Viewpoints, Nov. 23): Somehow George Runner and Bob Huff failed to learn during their legislative service that California has to deal with more than one issue at a time. While the drought has raised water storage and conservation to top priority, the state still had to address a long list of matters, including transportation.

Runner and Huff try to boost their position on water by arguing the state cannot also invest in high-speed rail. Their one-issue argument is specious and calls into question their political acumen. Instead of seeking the assistance of the governor, they attack his transportation priority. Way to go, guys.

Anthony Barcellos, Davis


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