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Letters From the October 30, 2017, Issue

Thoughts on What Happened

I quite enjoyed Katha Pollitt’s column “Hillary Clinton Tells All” [Oct. 9]. It seems fitting that a year after the election, Pollitt addresses CNN Hillary-hater extraordinaire Dylan Byers’s recent tweet that “The Hillary Clinton ‘I-take-full-responsibility-but-here-are-all-the-other-reasons-I-lost’ tour continues to be intrinsically problematic.”

Few “journalists” are more to blame for Donald Trump’s rise and Hillary’s loss—no, our loss—than Byers. He wrote in Politico on May 7, 2015: “Never has the national media been more primed to take down Hillary Clinton (and by the same token elevate a Republican candidate).”

That’s right, he didn’t write “expose her falsehoods” or “detail her hypocrisy.” He wrote that the media was “primed to take [her] down.” And the rest is history.

When will journalists learn?

Bernie Evans
savannah, ga.

In Katha Pollitt’s column, she misses a point that Bernie Sanders didn’t miss: that Clinton never found a war she couldn’t support. Didn’t she learn anything from Vietnam? All the comparisons Pollitt puts into her column pale in comparison with this one. No wonder it was left out of Clinton’s book and left out of the policies she presented in the campaign.
Glenn Umont
alamo, calif.

I want to praise Katha Pollitt for her supportive column. In spite of what the media maintains, Hillary Clinton was not a bad candidate, nor did she run a poor campaign.

Hillary won the popular vote by 3 million ballots, which is more than Kennedy over Nixon in 1960, Nixon over Humphrey in 1968, Carter over Ford in 1976, and Bush over Gore in 2000, and the same margin as Bush over Kerry in 2004. Trump was appointed by the Electoral College. He was not elected president. In a true democracy, which this country is not, the candidate who wins the popular vote is elected. The presidency was stolen from Clinton by James Comey, Vladimir Putin, Julian Assange, and Matt Lauer, who used what was supposed to be a forum on the Veterans Administration to attack Hillary on her e-mails.

Hillary Clinton, not Donald Trump, was the people’s choice. Trump’s ascension to the presidency is the biggest tragedy in US history. With Hillary, we would have had an experienced, capable, well-informed president. Instead, we are stuck with a mentally deranged criminal degenerate.

Reba Shimansky
new york city

Down With Epistocracy

A simple answer to Jason Brennan’s obviously pessimistic message, as described in Jan-Werner Müller’s review of his book Against Democracy [“Blaming the People,” Oct. 9], is to admit that most people are not going to learn a lot about the issues. For example, they don’t know basic acroeconomics, such as that job growth is promoted by demand coming from everyone, rather than by tax cuts for the rich; the rich have a record of financializing and disinvesting more than investing, especially now, following the MBA-ization of America.

Since people do not know the issues, the only way to gain their support is to do stuff. People came to support Franklin Roosevelt’s programs in the 1930s, as well as Medicare and the Affordable Care Act.

More things to do: Many of our technologies and industries began from investment by and partnership with government. Today, the nations that are eating our lunch are not laissez–faire. They have strong industrial policies for investment and partnership. Do this, instead of shipping jobs away, and the people will support it. Denying people the vote is not likely to gain their support.

Harry Thorn
philadelphia

BLM Articles Matter

My thanks to Dani McClain for a broad–ranging article [“The Future of BLM,” Oct. 9] with a wealth of information. I’m a white Vietnam vet who later went to jail protesting that genocidal war, and I’m a Bernie supporter. It was the brothers in Vietnam who gave me my first real political education. “Ain’t no Vietnamese ever called me” the -N-word, they said.

It is usual for a progressive writer writing about a progressive movement to analyze various factions, then treat each one separately: A, B, C. This has been done too often with Black Lives Matter. What McClain has done instead is provide a vibrant picture of an entire movement in process—warts and all. She has done us all a service. It’s an article to read more than once, and then get active.

Ed Lampman

In Manning Veritas

Many Americans will be eternally grateful to Chelsea Manning for revealing proof of multiple US war crimes perpetrated against Iraqi and Afghan civilians as well as on detainees and others [“Harvard’s Shame,” Oct. 9]. The same kind of war crimes took place in Vietnam, to our horror and shame. The mass killing of non-threatening innocent civilians is intolerable and illegal here and internationally.

Mike Pompeo says that Manning endangered our troops in war zones, which is doubtful from what I’ve read. She has also been accused of treason for violating the Espionage Act. Others consider Manning a whistle-blower following her conscience.

Dramatic public objections against Manning’s Harvard fellowship by Pompeo and Michael Morell were unwarranted and an insult to the intelligence of those of us who have followed the painful, ruthless, specious, endless “War on Terror.” An informed public vigorously objects to war crimes executed in our name.

Chelsea Manning served seven years in prison in isolation. The remaining years of her sentence were commuted by President Obama. Manning should be given a chance to start a new life without military or government interference.

Chris Jonsson

I think it particularly juvenile to believe that large and influential universities, often on the government dole and on that of their less-than-liberal donors, would pursue any policies that might finally discourage their funding.
James Hannah

English Lessons

Gary Younge’s column [“Winning Isn’t Everything,” Oct. 9] was great. I was in the United Kingdom during the election, and the level of support Jeremy Corbyn received from millennials in particular was astounding. The manifesto that he presented is a beacon that correlates closely to what Bernie Sanders offered. It is unfortunate that the US does not have a government that actively supports more than two political parties, as the UK does.
Robert Andrews

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