Talking to Voters From Both Parties

Mark Peterson for The New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “What Voters Really Think About the State of America” (Opinion, Jan. 8):

The most upsetting article I’ve read recently regarding the events of Jan. 6, 2021, and its aftermath is the report on the focus groups’ comments about the state of America. I was familiar with polls showing that a majority of Republican voters believe the lies told by Donald Trump and echoed by elected officials and television activists like Tucker Carlson.

But it is distressing to read that six of the eight Republicans in the focus group still believe that Mr. Trump won the election. And it is mind-blowing to read their comments about “how the Democrats invaded the White House” and were pushing Covid to keep mail-in ballots.

The lies must be refuted loudly and continuously. Responsible media should give no airtime or newspaper space to anyone who does not first admit that the 2020 election was fair and the results were properly counted. Until the rank and file learn that our election was fair and honest and worked as it should, the “state of America” will remain in jeopardy.

Roy Goldman
Jacksonville Beach, Fla.

To the Editor:

I am an independent voter, and have been in my 60 years of voting. I was not too surprised at the outcomes of your two focus groups. I have many friends and family who are registered Democrats or Republicans and know their opinions all too well. I would have been interested in a third group of independent voters. Maybe in the future you can incorporate this growing and important group of voters.

Linda L. Horton

Editors’ Note: Times Opinion plans to convene additional focus groups; the next will be with independent voters.

To the Editor:

I understand the purpose of your giving an opinion page over to average (whatever that means) Democrats and Republicans, but I nonetheless believe that The Times has missed the mark in doing so.

The purpose of journalism is not to be evenhanded or to give equal size megaphones to “both sides.” The purpose of journalism is to tell the truth. Clearly one side is by and large telling the truth, whereas the other side appears quite delusional. And it’s telling that I don’t have to state which is which for people to know what I mean.

The Times can and should do better for its readers.

Jonathan Engel
New York

To the Editor:

If these interviews are supposed to help me understand the thinking of Republicans, you’ve failed.

Reading what they think just made me angry — again! How some of them came up with their responses is totally beyond me, except I know they have unquestioningly accepted lies. That is what is frustrating, to hear those lies repeated over and over without any attempt on their part to use critical thinking.

My stomach is churning and I’m sure my blood pressure has peaked. I can live, just barely, with the horrible mess the world is in, but I don’t need any help with my despair!

Sara Joslin
New Cumberland, Pa.

Jim Wilson/The New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “Top Court Leans Toward Blocking Vaccine Mandate” (front page, Jan. 8):

Certain Supreme Court justices appear skeptical regarding the constitutionality of the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for certain businesses. We should remember, however, that the court is not ruling on the constitutionality of that mandate, only on whether it should issue an injunction to prevent its being enforced while its constitutionality is being decided.

In making a decision on whether an injunction should be issued, the justices would naturally want to consider the harm of issuing an injunction versus the harm of not issuing an injunction.

Suppose they decided not to issue an injunction. What’s the worst that might happen? Well, some people who may not want to be vaccinated may get the lifesaving vaccine anyway.

And if they do issue the injunction? Well, some people who do not want to be vaccinated may die.

Seems pretty clear-cut to me.

Stephen Polit
Belmont, Mass.

To the Editor:

Dear Chief Justice Roberts,

I respect the principle that limits on decision-making by federal agencies can be necessary and protective. This principle would be a vital response to an overly authoritarian executive branch.

I urge you to uphold this principle — while making an exception for vaccine mandates.

To return this national health issue to individual states and Congress — at this time of medical crisis and excessive cultural divide — will further politicize and undermine our nation’s ability to respond to this public health issue in a unified manner.

Principles are vitally important. But wise and flexible leadership requires appropriate exceptions.

Jared D. Kass
Concord, Mass.

María Medem

To the Editor:

Re “Divorce Doesn’t Have to Be Lonely,” by Kaitlyn Greenidge (Opinion guest essay, Sunday Review, Jan. 9):

A widow of nine years after five decades of marriage, I know that you can go it alone. Not everyone needs to marry. But I ask, What can marriage give us? As an introvert and a writer, I prized private time. Marriage required compromise and working out problems instead of walking out.

We had counseling several times, at which I learned that my little ego was as precious as his. Only in a relationship could I have learned how best to live in our world of rugged individualists. I assert myself more confidently, but also listen better.

Diana Morley
Talent, Ore.