Last week, in this space, I summed up our letter writers' reactions to the Democratic National Convention as "meh," an assessment that several readers emailed me to say they did not appreciate in light of the fact that they see this election as a referendum on the survival of U.S. democracy. Those readers might be more receptive to what our letter writers said about the Republican convention.
After four days of uninterrupted hosannas for a commander in chief mired in the worst public health and economic crises of our time, readers blasted the Republican Party for its unprecedented flouting of federal ethics rules, expressed dismay over the conspicuous detachment from the national mood of suffering and unrest, and were especially critical of the president's White House speech and fireworks display the final night.
Warren Cereghino of Pacific Palisades puts President Trump alongside other presidential bottom dwellers:
As a retired journalist, I am a modest student of history. Born during FDR's second term, I came of age under two great leaders, Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower.
Thursday night, however, I turned away from Trump's speech because he is a coward. He was so afraid of talking only to a camera, without hearing applause, that he caused the 81-year-old Hatch Act to be violated and let 2,000 supporters sit on the South Lawn of the White House.
He besmirched the office, but I hope not forever, and he's muscling aside James Buchanan and Warren Harding at the bottom of the pile. As one who believes the presidential pendulum swings back and forth over the decades, I've never been aghast at anyone in that high office — until now.
Even if we're stuck with bellicose narcissism for four more years, successive administrations will bring us back from the brink of the abyss. I hope.
Liselotte Millauer of Hollywood contrasts Biden's and Trump's speeches:
Americans, wake up. Just compare former Vice President Joe Biden's beautiful acceptance speech — delivered responsibly on an empty stage with no adoring crowd as an acknowledgement of the COVID-19 tragedy — to Trump's dishonest 41 attacks on Biden, self-praising lies and incredibly bombastic show. Look at the president's misuse of the White House with 2,000 cheering, maskless Trumpists, complete with a gigantic fireworks show and a singer bellowing "Hallelujah."
Make the comparison, then vote.
Joanna Ryder of Hermosa Beach likens the convention to a four-day assault:
I am a Democrat, recovering from four nights of being beaten to a pulp by the untruths spoken (or yelled) by speakers at the Republican convention. After being exposed to the world of "alternative facts" for almost four years, I should be used to that way of thinking by now, but I am not.
Although the show was slick, the hair and makeup perfect and the flags abundant, the message that was put out bore little resemblance to what has actually occurred since Trump took office. And, the dystopian future they predict under a Biden presidency exists only in their own imaginations.