Re “Ted Kennedy, Donald Trump, and the death of moral politics” by Neal Gabler (Ideas, Jan. 3): Donald Trump is not the cause of any moral decline or decay in America. He is a symptom, an unpleasant, malignant product of a horrible, enduring darkish aspect of America. Make no mistake, this darkness exists and it is harmful. Attempts to legislate it out of existence have solely pushed it underground; makes an attempt to teach it have by no means taken root.
It is the America that values particular person needs over a shared sense of group assist, regardless of how venal these particular person wishes could also be. It is the America that values white, Christian tradition over any and all others. It is the America that espouses exclusion, segregation, subjection, and, sure, pressure and violence. It is the America that thrives on hate.
Recognizing that the phenomenon of Trump is not simply a one-time oddity however somewhat is a important outbreak of a substantial element of American tradition is essential if we’re to stop America from devolving into an undemocratic, fascistic dictatorship.
Focusing solely on Trump will impede our capacity to grasp and efficiently take care of the darkish aspect of the American soul.
As Shakespeare had Cassius say in “Julius Caesar”: “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings.”