After His Arraignment, Trump Lashes Out

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  • ‘A Great Day for Liberals’ in Wisconsin and Chicago
  • A Renewed Interest in Freudian Psychoanalysis

The charges represent the culmination of a nearly five-year investigation.Credit…Dave Sanders for The New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “Trump Charged With 34 Felonies” (front page, April 5):

After Judge Juan M. Merchan warned at Donald Trump’s arraignment that all parties must refrain from making statements about the case with the potential to incite violence and civil unrest, what does the former president who can’t keep his mouth shut do during his speech a few hours later?

He says hateful things about Judge Merchan and his family, and vilifies District Attorney Alvin Bragg, District Attorney Fani Willis in Georgia and the special counsel Jack Smith.

And one of the former president’s sons put a photograph of Judge Merchan’s daughter on social media — a clear invitation to violence.

It’s time for the former president to be gagged. And when he speaks out with hateful words again, a contempt order and jail time may put a sock in his mouth. About time.

Gail Shorr
Wilmette, Ill.

To the Editor:

Crowd size has always been important to Donald Trump. It is the metric he uses, along with TV ratings, to measure his impact, to gauge his popularity, to feed his ego.

The crowd that showed up Tuesday at his arraignment was hardly composed overwhelmingly of Trump supporters. It looked as if the media and anti-Trump people more than countered his base.

No matter how Mr. Trump spins it, no matter how many times at his future rallies he proclaims an overwhelming showing of support in New York City, the camera doesn’t lie.

It was good to see him cut down to size Tuesday. For the first time in his adult life he could not control the narrative. He called for a massive protest, he predicted “death and destruction” if he was charged, and he got neither.

Len DiSesa
Dresher, Pa.

To the Editor:

The April 5 front-page headline “Even as Biden Has Oval Office, Predecessor Has the Spotlight” is a statement that is true only because your newspaper and other media outlets allow Donald Trump to occupy center stage.

This behavior of the media has been mentioned many times before, and many believe that the tens of millions of dollars’ worth of free publicity provided to Mr. Trump during the 2016 campaign contributed to his winning the election.

It is now 2023 and we are facing an election that could well decide the future of America. I am therefore requesting that The Times stop paying so much attention to Mr. Trump (we’ve heard everything he has to say many times before) effective immediately.

David Sommers
Kensington, Md.

To the Editor:

I felt a real jolt seeing the photo of former President Donald Trump seated at the table in a Manhattan courtroom. It was the jolt of the norms of American justice falling back into alignment.

Christopher Herman

‘A Great Day for Liberals’ in Wisconsin and Chicago

Janet Protasiewicz, the liberal candidate in Wisconsin’s Supreme Court election, during her election night party in Milwaukee on Tuesday. She ran on her open support of abortion rights.Credit…Jamie Kelter Davis for The New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “Liberal Wins Wisconsin Court Race, in Victory for Abortion Rights Backers” (news article, April 5):

While New York and the nation were fixated on the circus that was Donald Trump’s arraignment, a special election was held in Wisconsin that decided whether conservatives or liberals would control that state’s Supreme Court. Janet Protasiewicz, a Milwaukee County judge, won the race and gave liberals control of the highest court in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin is an important swing state, and this new balance of power in the court will have dramatic effects on abortion rights, potential election interference and how election districts are drawn. Conservatives, who have had control of the Supreme Court, will no longer be able to gerrymander voting districts to favor Republicans, nor will they be able to successfully challenge the results of a free and fair election.

While this is only one state, we may see similar results in other swing states like Michigan, Pennsylvania and, yes, even Texas. Donald Trump is to Democrats the gift that just keeps on giving.

Henry A. Lowenstein
New York

To the Editor:

Three news stories from your newspaper indicate that Tuesday was a great day for liberals and progressives: “Trump Charged With 34 Felonies,” “Liberal Wins Wisconsin Court Race, in Victory for Abortion Rights Backers” and “Rejecting a ‘Republican in Disguise,’ Chicago Voters Elect Johnson as Next Mayor.”

While conservative Republicans are obsessed with culture wars and MAGA, progressives are making political headway. Let’s hope that we continue on this march to liberalism till our nation is free from prejudices, curbs on reproductive and gender freedoms, relentless gun-related violence, etc.

Michael Hadjiargyrou
Centerport, N.Y.

A Renewed Interest in Freudian Psychoanalysis

Credit…Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Renstrom for The New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “Back to the Couch With Freud” (Sunday Styles, March 26):

It is true that people “see what they want in Freud.” Thus, a younger generation might think Freud “gay friendly” because a 1935 letter declared, “Homosexuality is nothing to be ashamed of, no vice, no degradation.”

However, the article omits that Freud went on to describe homosexuality in that same letter as an “arrest of sexual development.”

Freud’s theory that gay people suffered from psychological stunted growth rationalized many decades of discrimination in which openly gay men and women were refused psychoanalytic training because they were “developmentally arrested.” Only in 1991 did the American Psychoanalytic Association change its policies refusing admission to gay candidates.

I am glad that Freud is having a renaissance. However, any reading or interpretation of his work should not ignore the historical context in which he lived and the ways, for better or worse, in which some of his theories have been used to discriminate.

Jack Drescher
New York
The writer, a clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University, is the author of “Psychoanalytic Therapy and the Gay Man.”

To the Editor:

I was pleased to see New York Times coverage of the “Freudaissance,” which I have been a joyful participant in for more than a decade now, both personally and professionally.

One of the understandings I have come to, having spent countless hours on both sides of the proverbial couch, in both psychoanalytic and cognitive behavioral contexts, is that these two approaches do not really diverge from each other as much as many tend to assume that they do.

I see the C.B.T. founder Aaron Beck’s three levels of cognition (automatic thoughts, core beliefs and cognitive schemas) mapping neatly onto Freud’s topographical model of the mind (the conscious, preconscious and unconscious, respectively).

And I see the dialectic behavioral therapy founder Marsha Linehan’s construct of the “wise mind” as an integration of the rational and emotional minds matching Freud’s structural model of the ego as a synthesis of superego and id.

Different terms resonate differently in different generations and with different individuals, but rather than disproving or undermining Freud’s theories, I see today’s evidence-based approaches as indications that the father of modern psychology was apparently onto something more than a century ago.

Rachel N. Wyner
West Hempstead, N.Y.
The writer is a clinical psychologist.

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