Democracy under siege

Two letters ("Trump taking action," "Dems will get theirs," Wednesday) showed why democracy is so imperiled in today's America.

The first letter reveled in the demise of politicians in favor of a CEO who is getting things done. He certainly is. The only problem is that democracy is supposed to be a process; it is supposed to be about those with opposing ideas figuring out ways to come together for the good of all. It is messy and often takes time. Those who extol "getting things done" are really yearning for a tyrant, a dictator, not a president.

The second letter trumpeted that Democrats are against "common-sense actions to keep America safer." No, we are against unlawful actions that are making us unsafe. Where is the factual basis for illegally banning Muslims and not Christians from selected countries? Is fear the only rationale? The firing of the acting attorney general only underscored President Trump's disregard for legality. Her job was not to be "strong" on immigration; it was to uphold the law.

We should carefully consider the consequences of heaping scorn on process and shedding the rule of law.

|Jim Davis, Conshohocken

Vetting missed terrorists

Contrary to Trudy Rubin's column, "Vetting was already extreme" (Tuesday), two horrendous cases prove otherwise - Tashfeen Malik, the female San Bernardino, Calif., shooter, from Pakistan; and the Tsarnaev brothers, the Boston Marathon bombers, from Chechnya. I fully agree with our president's temporary halt, followed by true extreme vetting.

|Angela Simone, Philadelphia

Muslims deserve to be here

I am frustrated and angry because of the paranoia and hatred for Muslim citizens and noncitizens coming from the Trump administration and its thoughtless supporters.

I am frustrated because I am in my 80s and can no longer take the actions that were part of my life for so many years.

I am angry because I see too many comparisons to Germany in the early 1930s. As a Jew, I am all too aware of what seemingly well-meaning people can do to protect themselves against the state's "enemies." For example, White House press secretary Sean Spicer defended the detention of a 5-year-old Iranian boy. In Nazi-occupied Europe, children - especially Jewish children - were slaughtered because they were seen as potential threats.

I am angry because I spent 20 years in the Air Force to defend the Constitution. Seeing it trampled on denies that service.

I am angry because I taught history and sociology in college, with an emphasis on the fundamental rights of all people, regardless of race, religion, or gender.

There are people who deny Muslims' right to exist in this country, but there are far more people who are willing to defend that right.

|Andrew M. Sherling, Cherry Hill

Safety, not hate

Not taking in Syrian refugees and closing our borders is not mean or heartless.

I lock the doors to my house every night. I don't lock them because I hate the people outside my house. I lock them because I love the people inside my house.

|Micky Bitsko, Willingboro

For tougher system, do the work

There is nothing wrong with President Trump thinking that his team can do a better job vetting Syrians than the two-year process created by the Obama administration. But Trump does need to show the need for it, to think it through, to consult with those who will implement his policy. The federal government is not a maid waiting to serve at his team's whims. It takes hard work to do a proper job. Trump should put in his share of hard work and thoughtful, adult consideration.

|Catalin Florea, Jenkintown,

Riot overpowers free speech

Protesters at the University of California at Berkeley, which considers itself the birthplace of free speech, stifled same on Wednesday, with their violent, riotous actions ("Breitbart editor's talk at Berkeley is canceled," Thursday). They have come to realize that authorities have no stomach to prevent such anarchy. Where does this lead?

|Stephen Hanover, Doylestown