To the Editor:


n lamenting the state of the 2016 presidential election, John Podhoretz discusses the fact that our president is our employee—not a dictator (“An Echo, Not a Choice,” October). I think this misses the point. People have backed Donald Trump because he is an outsider. They perceive the government (and the “establishment”) as inept and inefficient, no matter who is in power. The people are right and the United States is in crisis.

The government is alienated from the rest of the population. Politicians don’t know what the people think, and knowing that is one of their main responsibilities. The principles of our two major parties are incompatible with each other, and the political system is growing more adversarial.  No civil discourse or collaboration seems possible. This in turn means it is extremely difficult to implement policy, making the government look more and more inept. As a result of ineffectual and inefficient government, the country’s debt is at $20 trillion.

Hillary Clinton only fuels our national crisis. She sees white, blue-collar workers as “deplorables.” Democrats generally divide citizens into groups by race, national origin, gender, and religious beliefs, so the concept of unified citizenry is lost. To a large extent, this has obstructed the integration of African Americans and Hispanics into society. African Americans and other minorities have been reduced to stereotypes to manipulate and lure to the Democratic Party; that’s identity politics. It’s not surprising, therefore, that the different groups are now in conflict.

The government has also botched up foreign policy to an alarming degree. ISIS has gone undefeated for about five years, after our president labeled them the “JV team.” At the same time, the U.S. has alienated its friends and allies while giving a great boost to Iran, a country that supports terrorism and openly claims that it wants to destroy the U.S. and Israel.  Terrorism is now rampant in all Western countries, including our own.  The U.S. is perceived as militarily and politically week.

It’s obvious that the current way of dealing with critical issues does not work. New administrative structures and planning approaches may be necessary to change the course of the country. In 2016, American voters felt that need.

Carlos Graizbord

San Diego, California

To the Editor:


ohn Podhoretz’s editor’s letter, “An Echo, Not a Choice,” is extremely disappointing. In it, he fails or refuses to recognize the magnitude of the differences between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and the danger those differences pose to our republic.

All of us who identify as Republicans and conservatives have to admit that one way or another we have failed. We have allowed the GOP to be co-opted by a complete boor who possesses none of the attributes that the president of the United States should have.

Mr. Podhoretz cannot miss that Trump is a consummate narcissist who actually believes that he has never made a mistake. That flaw should be fatal to his prospects because it would make him a real danger in the White House.  Being a misogynist, racist, and bully are in fact insignificant compared with his egocentrism and fundamental lack of character and understanding.

Hillary Clinton is a very poor choice for sure, and I hate the idea of having to vote for her for anything. But, very unfortunately, we are stuck.  She has the ability to organize and run an administration.  We just have to get through the next four years and figure out how to reconstruct our party and fight another day.

Mr. Podhoretz’s determination to be “include[d] out” of this election is not a responsible position. This is the first time I’ve felt that way about something he has written.

C. Jeffrey Cook

Pittsfield, Massachusetts

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