Letters to the Editor: We need another American enlightenment to save democracy

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Los Angeles, CA, Monday, June 27, 2022 - RiseupforAbortionRights rallies hundreds throughout downtown opposing the recent Supreme Court decision to strike down Roe v Wade. (Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times)
A rally against the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade on June 27 in downtown Los Angeles. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: During my family's memorable cross-country journeys during the summer of 1964, I glimpsed some of the changes taking place in our nation. Sucking on motel ice cubes in our unconditioned Rambler, this 9-year-old ogled cotton fields and colored-only fountains in the South, gaped at the technological future on display at the New York world's fair, toured the White House and dined at the Capitol restaurant on July 1. ("Will 2022 turn the clock back to America before 1964?" Opinion, July 1)

The very next day, President Johnson signed the momentous Civil Rights Act.

I matriculated into college life with contraceptive choices and the brand-new Roe vs. Wade decision in force. Both played a role in my life, as they have for almost every woman in this country. I was cognizant and grateful to come of age during that enlightened moment.

The zeitgeist of freedom during the tumultuous 1960s is palpable in the enraged response to the current social and judicial upheaval. Although I am shocked by the dire predictions of revered historians, my optimism veers toward those engaged Americans, young and old, who pursue the clear path of democracy over autocracy.

Mary MacGregor, La Quinta

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To the editor: America is indeed at an inflection point. The forces of intolerance, racism and ignorance are on the march. And unlike 1964, this Christo-fascist base has a hammerlock on our once "conservative" party, the GOP.

These antifreedom fighters also have an institution ready and able to aid and abet their mission, the U.S. Supreme Court. In 1964, liberal and enlightened thinking was fully encased with Chief Justice Earl Warren and the high court. And unlike Joe Biden, we had a president who fully embraced liberalism in Lyndon Johnson.

I see no good outcome in our present circumstances. Our institutions will not expand the great American experiment. Quite the contrary, they will be a bulwark against liberty and justice going forward.

Sadly, we cannot rely on your average, everyday American to save the ship. They are far too busy staring at their smartphones.

Bob Teigan, Santa Susana

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.