To the Editor:
With good reason and understandable indignation, Rob Dreyfus reminds us that 20-plus Democratic candidates only “tinker” with our problems. With understandable indignation and some reasoning, Jim Riviello tells us that career politicians are con men and snake oil salesmen. Joshua Kalla and Ethan Porter tell us that highly detailed public opinion surveys suggest that “An overwhelming majority of legislators [are] uninterested in learning about their constituents’ views” (New York Times, July 11).
This makes me think of Adlai Stevenson, of Harry Truman, and even of Abe Lincoln. I have no sense of whether they were interested on learning about their constituents’ views, but I do have the feeling that they were not con men or snake oil salesmen. So the question arises: how did a con man like Trump get elected? The problem of ideological polarity in times of trouble seems to suggest an answer; but for several reasons having to do with reduced “comfort” and increasing “fear,” to rely on the electorate in this face-off is unreliable.