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Sunday letters: Give independent voters a voice in party primaries

To fight, Crist holds punches | Feb. 3, story

Give independents a primary voice

The article about Gov. Charlie Crist finding himself in the underdog position for the upcoming U.S. Senate race provides another illustration of why independents should be allowed to vote in Florida primaries.

The Tea Party movement and the far right wing of the Republican Party do not want moderates in their party, so they've fired up the ideological base to dispose of Crist and his moderate appeal. And yet Crist would probably crush Rubio in a general election.

Most voters tend to be centrists, yet we keep getting fewer and fewer moderates in today's government. Which is why Congress is chronically stalemated. If independents were allowed to vote in primary elections for both parties, perhaps we wouldn't get the extremes from either party, but more balanced, pragmatic candidates who could work with either side.

George Chase, St. Pete Beach

The week Crist got back on track | Jan. 31, Tim Nickens column

Out of touch with the American people

According to Tim Nickens, Gov. Charlie Crist is now polling behind Marco Rubio because he moved politically to the right? Nickens references Crist distancing himself from President Barack Obama, appeasing developers and appointing a friend as a senator. Could it really be high unemployment, supporting the stimulus rip-off and governing to the left of the people of Florida?

Nickens also refers the Tea Party activists as extremists. I have heard more extreme positions from the staff of the Times than from the Tea Party.

Nickens and those like him are very out of touch with the American people right now. It's the very reason Scott Brown won the election in Massachusetts, Crist will lose in the primary and Democrats will get clobbered in the midterm elections.

Dean Walters, Apollo Beach

The week Crist got back on track | Jan. 31, Tim Nickens column

Get past fear and anger

This was a thoughtful article which contained more than a modicum of truth. That Gov. Charlie Crist should act like the governor is right on. Also, it was telling that Marco Rubio should mention investing a portion of Social Security, as though he is unaware that this was a failed idea and one that should have failed. That the market tanked and the economy is in shambles seems to have eluded him.

However we vote, we should put aside feelings of anger, despair and uncertainty, and vote for those who would best represent our views. Probably for many, those candidates have not surfaced, but in this fragile state, we need to offer up the best solutions.

Candidates who play to a group of people by using fear and hatred as their mantra do this country a great disservice. Whichever side of the platform we may favor, it would behoove all of us to find that moderate and thoughtful solution which would be good for our country, not just for political reasons.

Harriet P. Sherwood, Clearwater

The week Crist got back on track | Jan. 31, Tim Nickens column

Harsh rhetoric

Why do you liberals always resort to name-calling when you disagree with others? Marco Rubio "is the darling of the windbag Washington conservatives because he spouts their empty antigovernment rhetoric."

When did a call for smaller, less intrusive government become "antigoverment rhetoric"? Are there windbag Washington liberals? Or does that description only apply to conservatives, who are now speaking out against government policies and spending that we disagree with?

Toni Armstrong, Apollo Beach

Nation building: How to fix Haiti | Jan. 31, Perspective stories

A job for the U.N.

None of your three "experts" on Haiti deal with the basic reality of that nation. It is a small country, balancing throughout its history on the edge of chaos and disaster, infected from top to bottom with predatory leaders, violence, and a lack of concern by those "leaders" for their people. As with the French colonials before them, Haiti was the "cash cow" of the upper class.

The earthquake has effectively destroyed Haiti as a viable nation. There is no possibility Haiti can rebuild itself, even with help from other nations.

There is one logical possibility for the country's rebuilding: Turn the task over to the United Nations, making Haiti to all intents and purposes an unofficial "U.N. colony" until its infrastructure, politics and economy have reached the point where the nation will have a reasonable chance for an independent, democratic and positive future (which it has never had). This means the emphasis will be on the Haitians taking as much responsibility as they can, under direct U.N. supervision, training and education, with the necessary safeguards in place to prevent anyone (nation, corporation, etc.) from taking any self-serving advantage of the people of Haiti.

The goal would be to "return" their country to them so Haiti could take a rightful place in the "family of nations," as a viable and stable state, capable of providing its citizens with a reasonable standard of living and a hopeful future, as a free and democratic nation.

John B. Kelley, Clearwater

Don't forget how we got to this place | Jan. 31, Robyn Blumner column

Average American values

Robyn Blumner makes reference to the "average male worker" doing worse than his father's generation. I'm not sure whom Blumner is referring to, but I consider myself an average American and my son (and my daughter) is doing better than I did at the same age.

I grew up in a middle-class home. My father worked his entire life as a carpenter. I grew up with discipline. I learned at a very early age (about 5 years old) that I was accountable for my actions, there were consequences for misbehaving, and that no one was going to give me anything during my lifetime. I was expected to earn it.

I then attempted to instill those same values in my children — so far so good. Get a good education. Respect authority. Work hard and smart. Invest wisely. Read a contract before you sign it. You know, the average American basics.

That's two generations of the average American family in my view. We're happy with our health care, although we would like to see it improved for all, but not in the manner that Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid would do so.

Blumner sees a different average American with which I am not familiar. The real issue is the difference in the first thought that I have every morning. I am thankful every day that I am lucky enough to live in the greatest country on Earth. My guess is that Blumner thinks very differently.

Paul Natale, Clearwater

A reliable ally

Now more than ever, our ally Israel needs our support. Israel has the ability to deter the development of Iranian nuclear weapons. It merits our unqualified support.

I have a T-shirt that says it well: "Don't worry, America, Israel is behind you."

Norman N. Gross, Ph.D., Tampa

Sunday letters: Give independent voters a voice in party primaries

02/06/10 [Last modified: Friday, February 5, 2010 6:33pm]
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