Opinion | Trump’s Republican Party

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To the Editor:

Re “Trump’s Iron Grip on the G.O.P.,” by Daniel McCarthy (Op-Ed, March 2):

This usurpation of the Republican Party described by Mr. McCarthy boils down to two factors. Survivorship bias means that those who have chosen to remain in the party support its leadership. And demographics mean that the only way the party can remain in power is through minority rule — gerrymandering, voter suppression, etc.

Seen through this lens, Republican actions are logical and predictable. Today’s Republican Party won’t magically change; those who are repulsed and outraged have already left. To unite and heal our country we must use appropriate political and legal means — such as strengthening the Voting Rights Act, enacting anti-gerrymandering legislation and limiting the filibuster — to ensure that the majority interests of the center right and left are adequately and proportionately represented.

Jay Markowitz
Pound Ridge, N.Y.

To the Editor:

Daniel McCarthy suggests that one reason for the Trump administration’s “setbacks” is “the bad luck that the Covid-19 crisis struck in a re-election year.” This particular pity party is unjustified.

The governors who addressed the crisis forthrightly saw their popularity ratings skyrocket. Donald Trump was provided an opportunity to resurrect his self-tarnished image by demonstrating leadership, by mobilizing the federal government to address the challenges, and by using his pulpit to create social solidarity in the face of a shared misfortune.

That he accomplished none of this — that he wasted this opportunity by denying the pandemic’s severity, bickering with public health leaders and touting the use of bleach — is a testament to his failings as a president and has nothing to do with bad luck.

Timothy Christenfeld
Lincoln, Mass.

A Disconnect on Voting Restrictions

To the Editor:

Conservatives constantly yelp about the possibility of restrictions on gun ownership laws, saying their Second Amendment rights will be violated if any such restrictions are passed. Yet when it comes to restrictions on another constitutionally protected right — the right to vote — they seem to favor these kinds of restrictions.

The only difference I can see is whom the restrictions will affect.

Jane L. Lassner
Norwalk, Conn.

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