To the editor: Now Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) is supposed to smile? Is that it? The grotesquely unflattering photograph New York magazine published was sexist and ageist. As if that wasn't enough, L.A. Times columnist Nicholas Goldberg suggests it reveals "irritation."
Really? Goldberg's musing is just a riff on the old-women-are-"witches" meme.
Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) lost both legs and the use of one arm while in the Army. Is she fit to serve?
Feinstein's physical appearance has no bearing on her mental acuity, memory problems or lack of them. Women with disabilities are able to do their jobs. Women with wrinkles are not irritated or tired; they're like everyone over 60 — old.
When men's faces wrinkle, sag and puff, they're "distinguished." When those things happen to women, they're despised and discarded.
Jo Perry, Studio City
To the editor: I don't mind the ages of our older members of Congress and senators. What I do mind is what has happened during the decades they have had power — namely, the degradation of democracy, the environment, women's rights and individual privacy in general, and increasing gun violence and political extremism.
The racist electoral college should have been abolished along with slavery, and for some reason it still exists more than a century later. Meanwhile, voting rights are challenged in many states.
I don't think these leaders have kept up with the many technologies that have shaped our country, some of which improved us, while others brought new threats. Because of their lack of diligence, too many people believe conspiracy theories instead of use critical thinking tools.
They are good at political games, though.
Barbara Snider, Huntington Beach
To the editor: The Republican Party is trying to drag us back to the 1800s using distortions of truth as their guiding principle. Although far-right politicians like Reps. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) are younger, clearly they lack skill, experience and intelligence.
Sadly, age will not help their lack of intelligence or moral compass. None has demonstrated the ability of Feinstein in brokering a deal banning assault weapons for 10 years, which prevented mass murders. None exhibits the leadership skills of President Biden in bringing together all the European democracies to work together for the first time in decades.
Hopefully younger, morally intact and more skilled politicians will emerge to replace our older statespeople, but youth itself is obviously not the answer.
Marcy Bregman, Agoura Hills
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.