I’m writing to support the wisdom expressed in Dan Cook’s letter regarding the pepper spray incident on the Templeton overpass as it portends the threats to our democracy faced by all of us (“Templeton pepper spray attack is a symptom of political leaders’ rhetoric,” Sept. 29). Many downplay the similarities between the promotion of right-wing violence to the leadup to WWII, but make no mistake the signs are all around us. Not only in this country, with the likes of Steve Bannon’s enlisting millions to his “no plan,” which “is to leave a smoldering crater where our institutions once were,” but also the likes of Italy, which has just elected a new prime minister who is from Mussolini’s Fascist party. We all need to open our eyes to the very real threats to our democratic institutions, however flawed. They have served us for more than 200 years. Let’s not submit to the “burning it down” vigilantes.

Linda M Poverny

Morro Bay