‘Why is Trump afraid of Kamala Harris?’


Sir, – There is a much more pertinent question than the one Jennifer O’Connell asks, “Why is Trump afraid of Kamala Harris?” (Opinion & Analysis, August 15th), and that is, why would any person not be afraid of Ms Harris given her record when she held high office?

Interested persons should really take time to look at that record. In the well-publicised case of Daniel Larsen, an innocent man wrongfully convicted, she fought tooth and nail to keep him in prison.

Having failed to overturn a decision to release him, at the last-minute she, as California attorney general, resorted to seeking his retention in prison “because his petition for release was lodged after a legal deadline”. That he was an innocent man did not seem to matter.

Might that explain one of the most bizarre cases which saw her office argue that the state could not release some prisoners “because it would deplete its pool for prison labour”? All this led to the US Supreme Court finding, in an unusually forthright judgment, that overcrowding in California prisons on her watch was so bad that it amounted to unconstitutional “cruel and unusual punishment”.

Perhaps the most unsettling aspect of the article is the implication that regardless of values and principles held, so long as the incumbent of high office is female, all is well. Have we not suffered enough from the incompetence of leaders ushered into key positions for all the wrong reasons? – Yours, etc,




Sir, – Accusing a bully of actually being an insecure weakling hiding his own failings is hardly an original line of attack, although it is probably consistent with Donald Trump’s oft-described narcissism which is also a compensating mechanism for insecurity. But none of this tells us much about Mr Trump’s actual re-election prospects in November.

If you look at how Trump is doing in the battleground states compared to 2016, he is currently doing slightly better than he was against Hillary Clinton, having been behind for most of July and August, as shown by an analysis of opinion polls. This means he is still behind in most of the battleground state polls, but by a slightly lesser margin than he was against Hillary Clinton at the same stage in 2016, and we all know what happened in the real poll afterwards.

This time around he has the additional advantage of being the incumbent and being up against an even older candidate generally perceived as being weak.

None of this means he is going to win again in November, but it is still all to play for, and by no means the slam-dunk Democratic win portrayed in some media.

Psychological analyses of candidates you disapprove of really tells us very little about actual voter behaviour in November. Perhaps Mr Trump’s narcissism, insecurity, and bullying tactics really are an accurate reflection of much of Middle America in the battleground states that will decide this election.

Voter suppression, counting fraud, endemic voter insecurity, fear of change, racism, and dominance of the mainstream media Middle America actually watches may be enough to get him across the line.

Let’s not start counting any chickens just yet. – Yours, etc,



Co Wicklow.