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U.S. President Donald Trump speaks in the East Room of the White House, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, in Washington.

Evan Vucci/The Associated Press

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Two solitudes

Re U.S. Outlook (Letters, Nov. 5): A letter-writer asks why half a nation voted for someone who is bad for citizens and bad for the country. I have an answer: reality television and social media.

Ken Cory Oshawa, Ont.

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Re Whatever The Final Result, Democrats Lost The 2020 U.S. Election (Nov. 5): As a political strategy, I believe the identity politics of far-left activists are ultimately counterproductive, alienating millions of voters who would otherwise be supportive of liberal causes.

Many left-leaning people do not agree with, or care about, the new dogmas demanded by progressives who live on Twitter. Social-media echo chambers, as it turns out, are not exclusive to the far-right. People are individuals, not mindless members of any monolithic identity.

Left-leaning Canadians would be wise to reconsider adopting the U.S. culture wars as their own. For the sake of liberalism, the sooner the better.

Mark Bessoudo Rothesay, N.B.

Far from signalling a move to the left by disconnected elites and identity politics, I believe Joe Biden’s candidacy clearly represented a rightward move, and an attempt to connect, compromise and find common ground with Republicans and the “common people."

Rather, Donald Trump’s success was to rebrand his own class of disconnected elites and career senators as outsiders. As I see it, his identity politics are of white resentment at continuing social change – along with an unsteady rightward list and maintenance of the status quo – thus insuring the insularity of his base, and making Democratic outreach harder.

Allan Olley Oakville, Ont.

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The squeaker that should not be. Democrats better learn fast that endorsements from celebrities and elite Republicans, media satire and mockery of Donald Trump and his supporters do not win elections.

Dismissing his four years of rallies as gatherings of ignorant citizens (and, in particular, not taking concerns about job losses seriously enough) has made those voters even more enraged – and organized.

Cady Williams Toronto

Regardless of who wins the U.S. election, the loser will be the American people.

Donald Trump and Joe Biden are roughly splitting the popular vote. That means millions of Americans have not only given Mr. Trump a pass on his many transgressions, but are willing to indulge four more years of the same.

Even if Mr. Biden wins, the battle lines have been drawn. Are we watching the demise of the United States?

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Sean Michael Kennedy Oakville, Ont.

Re Trump’s Victory Claim Is A Nightmare Scenario (Nov. 5): “Pollsters blew it again.” They should write their own pink slips, then look for alternative careers where their experience might count – weather forecasters or stock analysts, for instance.

John Megarry Collingwood, Ont.

Re Donald Trump Is Not Going To Go Quietly (Editorial, Nov. 5): It appears that the country that preaches democracy (and sometimes forces it on others) cannot run an election that merely asks for a choice between two options.

Perhaps election methodology should be amended to reflect the state of U.S. democracy: Just count the lawyers of each persuasion.

A.S. Brown Kingston

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Re From Diversity In Congress To Worries Of Civil Unrest: Ten Highlights Of The 2020 U.S. Election (Online, Nov. 4): I’ll add another: For Canadians, thank goodness we live in a country that doesn’t board up stores in case there are postelection riots. Where every vote counts and most of us vote with our conscience, not with our wallets.

Until the election is decided, I’ll just be Biden my time. Trump that.

Steven Brown Toronto

It is clear from even partial election results that Americans remain deeply divided, and not even the challenge of a global pandemic can unite them. At the same time, many Canadians are caught up in the drama with a great deal of hand-wringing. We should keep in mind: Only Americans can heal their divisions.

The best thing Canadians can do is focus on strengthening our own democratic institutions, social safety net, public education and health care. We may be close with the United States, but we have our own unique values, sense of decency and place in the world.

Suzzanne Fisher Calgary

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My bad

Re Ottawa’s Claims About Pandemic Alert System Misleading, PHAC Staff Say (Nov. 5): Whatever happened to the concept of accountability? It would be refreshing to hear politicians and bureaucrats take responsibility for decisions, especially when the impact is negative. It may go counter to political culture, but isn’t it high time for a paradigm shift?

I speak generally, because no matter the party in power, and the staff who operationalize policy, we see this time and again. Put simply: Stand up, own up – then get on with repair and the business of the day.

Marilyn Minden Toronto

Growing pains

Re Ottawa Increasing Immigration Targets (Oct. 31): Here we go again.

Homeless people sleeping in city parks? Grow the population. COVID-19 causing business closings and unemployment? Grow the population. University graduates unable to get jobs? Housing prices out of sight? Canada unable to meet carbon-reduction commitments? Grow the population.

So far, folks, it ain’t working. Let’s think of other ways to make the economy fairer for all Canadians without plundering talented people from poorer countries – places that may need those talents in order to address their own numerous problems.

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Patty Benjamin Victoria

Art attack

Re Museums Need To Consider Their Duty To The Public When Selling Off Their Works (Oct. 29): I’d like to think there is a moral duty to art donors as well.

Granted, donors give up rights to their works, likely in exchange for tax receipts. But some may want to see their donations enjoyed by all in perpetuity, which is why they made gifts in the first instance.

Perhaps institutions could consult donors where possible. Works could also be offered back for repurchase on a slightly advantageous basis.

Failure to treat donors with due respect may affect future donations.

T.B.K. Martin Toronto

Re Artist Finds Hope in Recreating Paintings (Oct. 30): Georgia Youngs gives me hope and a sense of Canadian pride. To create such beauty while alone during a difficult time is admirable, a remarkable tribute to the Group of Seven.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have an opportunity to see her paintings in person.

Shea Miles Vancouver

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