Letters to the Editor: 'He just says stuff': Do far-right Trump supporters not hear themselves?

HANFORD CA FEBRUARY 21, 2024 - John Darpli, who is an alfalfa broker and softball coach, is president of the 1776 Sons of Liberty, shown in Civic Center Park where they are based in Hanford, Calif., Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024. The Sons of Liberty are a grassroots, ultraconservative organization, who believe Democrats and liberals are endangering the U.S. Constitution. (Gary Kazanjian / For The Times)
John Darpli, president of the 1776 Sons of Liberty, is seen in Hanford, Calif., on Feb. 21. (Gary Kazanjian / For The Times)
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To the editor: "He just says stuff. He doesn’t mean it."

So says a die-hard Trump supporter from the San Joaquin Valley town of Hanford about the former president claiming he wants to be a dictator on his first day in office. Similar defenses of Donald Trump that I've heard include, "He says stupid things but he's not afraid to say them," and, "He lies and he's rude, but...."

Trouble is, saying stupid, dishonest and inflammatory "stuff" has real-world consequences. It can stoke white nationalism, sexism and homophobia, and it can spur people to try overthrowing the government, which for me comes pretty close to establishing a dictatorship.

It's the Trump supporters who must be saying stuff they don't mean. Because if they don’t believe what he’s saying almost all the time, what do they believe?

These people would have to believe in and agree with what he's saying to be so excited about a second Trump term, which could spell the end of the freedom they so loudly say they cherish.

Vincent Brook, Los Angeles


To the editor: It's widely known that the San Joaquin Valley is a conservative bastion, but quotes from members of the 1776 Sons of Liberty were still pretty astonishing.

They complained that their hospital doesn't have enough staff, which has nothing to do with a presidency. One said the country isn't ready for a woman president. They decried government overreach into lives of citizens, apparently oblivious to GOP efforts to strip away rights from women and LGBTQ+, Black and brown people.

One called the Jan. 6 attack a "tourist attraction gone awry" and falsely said it was orchestrated by the FBI. Another said Trump is "brutally honest and speaks plainly." My favorite was that Trump has been anointed by God.

It all reminded me of a Trump quote about how much he loves the poorly educated.

Brett Becker, Oak View


To the editor: I was taken aback by the man who said that Trump "just says stuff" and that if the former president did become a dictator, he would be the "first one to boot him out."

What this person missed is that if someone who says he would be a dictator becomes the president, it will be too late to fight to restore democracy. That is the reason this election is so critical, because we must take seriously what every candidate says and believe them when they say it.

Would-be dictators and kings have no place in a democracy, and it is up to voters to keep it that way. We have clear choices to make about the future of the nation and preserving our rights in a democracy.

This is too urgent and too important to pretend you can "fix" it later.

Betty Seidmon-Vidibor, Los Angeles


To the editor: For those who see Trump as someone anointed by God to lead this nation, I humbly offer this prayer:

"Every day I thank God for the example He has given us through you. With your blasphemous behavior, profane language and hollow promises, you have shown us how imperfect man is, no matter how great he may believe himself to be.

"May the Lord continue to work through you in His very, very mysterious ways. Amen."

Gil Prowler, Thousand Oaks

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.