Re ”Trump is a symptom of our moral decline, not the cause” (Letters, Jan. 10): Jeffrey Miner’s admirable letter to the editor identifies Donald Trump as a symptom, implying that he is not a cause of moral decline. I submit that he is both.
Yes, we need to study further the causes of white supremacism, anti-Semitism, and other types of hatred. But “ugly, malignant” public figures like Trump perpetuate these scourges, and are therefore themselves also causes of the cancerous spread.
Miner writes that attempts to legislate against hatred and darkness only drive them underground. Well, how else to deal with these antidemocratic forces? They need to be forced underground in a public way in order to educate those who hate as well as to protect those who would be victims of that hatred.
Good doctors concern themselves with causes, but they also treat symptoms. They lance the boil, freeze the precancerous mole, extract the rotten tooth, excise the malignant tumor.
Perhaps even more so than under Richard Nixon, there is a cancer growing on the presidency. Whether before or after Jan. 20, the symptom himself needs to be dealt with.