This is why character matters in the presidential race | Letters (2024)

Character matters

The 2024 election

With an election coming up, it is typical for politicians to embellish, exaggerate and flat out distort their record and their opponent’s. It’s normal, and no one is surprised. What is surprising to me is how gullible many voters are. You would think people would vote for a presidential candidate who exhibits the same type of character as themselves. Americans believe, correctly, that they are good, honorable and law-abiding neighbors. They consider themselves patriots.

Unfortunately, they don’t always practice what they preach. If election lies don’t offend you, if sex with a p*rn star isn’t scandalous, if attacking and smashing the Capitol — our center of democracy — is not revolting, and if being convicted of multiple crimes is not shocking to you, then I believe that our country has a problem.

Some will argue that character doesn’t matter. They want someone who gets things done. What nonsense. Waving the flag or wearing a hat supporting a candidate doesn’t make you patriotic. I believe that you also need to hold your candidate up to the standards you have for yourselves. Character matters.

John Bonano, Gulfport

Beware those immigrants

Democrats keep getting immigration policy wrong | Column, June 13

Columnist Jonah Goldberg writes: “It was ever thus. In colonial America, Benjamin Franklin repeatedly warned of the danger posed by unchecked German immigration, worrying that ‘they will soon so outnumber us, that ... we ... will not in my opinion be able to preserve our language, and even our government will become precarious.’” Here’s my rewrite: “It was ever thus. In pre-colonial America, Indigenous peoples’ leaders repeatedly warned of the danger posed by unchecked European immigration, worrying that ‘they will soon outnumber us, that … we … will not in our opinion be able to preserve our languages, and even our tribal identities will become precarious.’”

Paul Cooper, St. Petersburg

How it was

Donald Trump tells group that wants to ban all abortions to stand up for “innocent lives” | June 11

Former President Donald Trump is now encouraging a group that wants to ban all abortions. I grew up in the 1960s in Illinois. There were many reports of back-alley coat-hanger abortions at that time. Many women did not survive, but it was regarded as their best option. Some did not have the ability to feed another mouth or provide medical treatment if needed. Then we have the women who absolutely do not want a baby and will drink or do drugs with no regard to the effect on an unborn child. Fetal alcohol syndrome is a lifelong disability. Other drugs can also cause serious conditions. Then there is childbirth itself, which was a leading cause of death for women in the 1800s. It can still be fatal, although not as often. Consideration needs to be given for women who need to work to support themselves and eat and cannot afford to quit working to have a baby. So is this group willing to provide prenatal help for the mother as well as post-birth needs of food and medical for years? Or will they push for restricting pregnant women to be forbidden to drink or do drugs? I am not pro-abortion, but we cannot impose unrealistic demands on women without providing financial support for food, shelter, medical and educational needs. Or will we be reverting to coat-hanger abortions again?

Dave Hinz, Clearwater

Hard to explain

Poll: Americans split on Biden’s work to relieve student debt | June 12

Despite having canceled or significantly reduced the debt of some 4 million students under different programs sponsored by President Joe Biden, it seems that more Americans disapprove of his initiatives than approve of same. It is unclear whether this results from the debt relief programs’ perceived unfairness to those who have not benefitted from them, or because most people fail to understand the unfairness of the lending program itself, which involves private sector lenders and loan terms whose compounding interest effect keeps many borrowers in virtually perpetual debt. No wonder former President Donald Trump’s wealthy education secretary Betsy DeVos was such a strong proponent of involving private sector lenders in the education loan industry. The real wonder is why Democrats seem unable to explain that student loan forgiveness is mainly relief from the burden of compound loan interest rather than forgiveness of the loan itself.

This is why character matters in the presidential race | Letters (1)

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Fred Kalhammer, Sun City Center

Issues that matter

Trans care ban overturned | June 12

Another day and another ill-fated law passed by the anti-”woke” Florida governor and his minions in the Legislature is deemed unconstitutional. I don’t know how many of these frivolous laws he is defending in court, but I do know he is wasting millions of taxpayer dollars in doing so. Why don’t Gov. Ron DeSantis and his allies work on something that benefits all of us, like homeowners’ insurance, gun safety, health care, the environment or climate change, to name a few?

David Burg, Tampa

Social Security isn’t a BOGO

Why Social Security is in such trouble today | Column, June 11

According to recent reports I have been reading, Social Security might not be able to meet its obligations in the future as more people retire. What? The whole promise of the plan was that you pay in every paycheck so that you would have “security” in your retirement years. Now the answer seems to be, sorry you paid in for years, but you may not get paid out. Their plan seems to be to raise the retirement age. When looking at the Social Security benefits I realized that a spouse who never worked outside of the home can also collect up to half of the working spouse’s benefit. It doesn’t take an accountant to figure out that when one person pays in and two people take out it’s like a BOGO — buy one, get one free — and that’s just not going to work. I believe that if you can live on one income when working, then you can live on one Social Security payment in retirement.

Bobbi Bottone, Treasure Island

Don’t want to hear it

Senate hears of Fla. crisis | June 6

Sen. Rick Scott couldn’t be bothered to attend the recent Senate Budget Committee’s hearing on our state’s property insurance crisis. Though he serves on the committee, he apparently didn’t want to hear Florida citizens and insurance experts testifying that climate change is a big culprit, since he is the originator of the “don’t say climate change” mandate when he was governor. Too many of our elected federal and state representatives seem unconcerned about how unfettered development in high-hazard areas continues to threaten us all with unsustainable insurance premiums. Climate change is happening, even if those in government wear blinders.

Anita Jimenez, Tampa

The little people

Here’s the kind of justice Trump, Hunter Biden receive | Column, June 11

The enlightened lessons and aspirations set forth by professor Stephen E. Henderson sound like the policies that Andrew Warren attempted to implement as state attorney in Hillsborough County. For his attempts to implement actual just policies in our “justice” system, he was summarily expelled from office by Gov. Ron DeSantis. I believe that, in practice, the governor and his cohorts are staunchly in favor of this unjust justice system. It seems as if their policy is that only the poor and unprivileged should be prosecuted. To paraphrase Leona Helmsley, only little people get prosecuted and go to jail.

Ed Bradley, Boynton Beach

Pay to volunteer

Why are volunteers now paying for donated services? | June 13

While it’s regrettable that Pasco school volunteers will have to submit to Level 2 background checks at a personal cost of $41.25, safety for all students is paramount. This sounds like an opportunity for the Pasco Education Foundation to step up to fund this important role, even if on a sliding scale. Businesses who already offer employees time and opportunity to volunteer in schools should also consider paying this fee.

Jennifer Smith, North Chesterfield, Va.

This is why character matters in the presidential race | Letters (2024)


Who is likely to win the 2024 presidential election? ›

538 uses polling, economic and demographic data to explore likely election outcomes. in our simulations of the 2024 presidential election. Biden wins 49 times out of 100. There is a less than 1-in-100 chance of no Electoral College winner.

How do I write a letter to a president? ›

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Who is leading in the 2024 presidential polls? ›

President: general election, 2024 AVG.
June 1293037%
37% Biden 38% Trump 10% Kennedy
June 121,11932%
32% Biden 33% Trump 10% Kennedy
June 121,11934%
22 more rows

Who is the favourite for the next US president? ›

Who will be the next US President? Former President Donald Trump and incumbent President Joe Biden are the election betting favorites for 2024. Current Trump election odds have him at -104 to win the Presidency despite being found guilty on all counts in a hush money case. Biden odds are at +122.

What are the 5 requirements to be president? ›

Legal requirements for presidential candidates have remained the same since the year Washington accepted the presidency. As directed by the Constitution, a presidential candidate must be a natural born citizen of the United States, a resident for 14 years, and 35 years of age or older.

What is 538? ›

538, originally rendered as FiveThirtyEight, is an American website that focused on opinion poll analysis, politics, economics, and sports blogging in the United States.

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