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Readers Respond

U.S. voters can fix what Nazi-era Germans couldn't

Kudos to Professor Christine Adams for her timely and important commentary ("'Tyranny does not arrive in one fell swoop,'" Sept. 3). Her message could not be more critical for American citizens who hope to preserve our democracy; it should be mandatory reading for all students, indeed for all of us. Many law-abiding and decent Germans were caught off guard by the insidious rise of the Nazis and only belatedly realized the catastrophe heading their way.

Professor Adams correctly highlights disturbing features of the American electoral system, but we must hold tight to the belief that elections still do matter. Too many Democrats didn't vote for Hillary Clinton in 2016. They stayed home or voted for the likes of Gary Johnson or Jill Stein who never had a chance. They wanted to "send a message to Washington." Whatever their reasons, all of us have to suffer the consequences of their voting decisions: Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court, probably for decades, worsening climate change, North Korean threats, the gutting of vital federal agencies, rising domestic terrorism and the pathetic, rolling fiasco that is the Trump administration. And Charlottesville has reminded us that there is a nasty minority of Donald Trump's supporters who are in fact neo-Nazis.

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This whole mess was avoidable and is the Democrats' own doing. We won't change the Nazis' minds, but we do outnumber them. Elections are about making concrete choices between less-than-ideal alternatives. Perfection is an illusion, not an option.

Next time, whether or not we are "excited" by our candidate, let's get out and vote for her or him. Assuming that we get another chance; many well-meaning Germans did not.

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Bradley Alger, Baltimore

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