Editor's note: Letters to the editor offer a significant contribution to the discussion of public policy and life in Tampa Bay. To recognize some of that work by our most engaged readers, the Times will select a letter of the month and the writers will be recognized at the end of the year. We will choose the finalists each month based on relevance on topical issues, persuasiveness and writing style. The writer's opinion does not need to match the editorial board's opinion on the issue to be nominated. But clarity of thinking, brevity and a sense of humor certainly helps.
Help us choose the letter of the month for January by reading through the three nominated letters and voting on the ballot at the bottom of the web page.
Insults to schools not helpful
I have read the inaugural address and I'm trying to digest the words and the promises and come to grips with the next four years. However, as a teacher, I'm indignant at this phrase: "an education system flush with cash, but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of knowledge." "Flush with cash"? Really? That's not any public school in Florida that I know of. And the teachers who work so hard under adverse conditions of generational poverty, lack of parental involvement, low pay and little respect are accused of depriving their charges of knowledge? They teach their hearts out every day while acting as parent, counselor, nurse, social worker and friend at the same time.
The public school system needs a lot of things, but insults are not one of them. I hope the new administration will address school issues from a better perspective than this one.
Joan Smith, Hudson
Trump's missed opportunity | Jan. 21, editorial
Donald Trump didn't miss an opportunity; he hit the nail on the head. The changes in this country over the course of his lifetime are stark. Aside from racial discrimination, the America of yesteryear was productive (percentage of able-bodied in the work force), safe (people left their doors unlocked) and our place in the world was pre-eminent.
We can no longer afford to subsidize everyone else's industry and/or security. We have been through far too much and our forefathers have spilled too much blood fighting extremist ideologies abroad and freeing people from bondage at home. We do all bleed the same red, and it is time for America to come together and stop those who would pull at the threads of our national fabric.
We are long overdue for a restoration — economic, social, spiritual and constitutional. I have my misgivings about Trump personally and I know many of my fellow Americans have been conditioned by the leftist press to see an orange-haired Hitler instead of the prep-schooled Ivy Leaguer Manhattanite businessman with a long history of supporting Democrats and social justice causes.
I believe he wants to make America great again for all Americans of every race, gender and creed. I pray he succeeds. To do so, he'll need God's help as the radical leftists and their media lackeys, the establishment types in both major parties, our foreign adversaries and competitors (and even our supposed allies) will be working against him. Everyone who has been feeding from the trough of the taxpayer (a long list indeed) will have the knives out. What a daunting job. Godspeed, Mr. President.
Dwayne Keith, Valrico
Affordable Care Act
A public responsibility
In an equitable society, four functions need to remain not for profit: schools, the postal service, prisons and most of all health care. Republican members of Congress are setting out to shred the Affordable Care Act and make it even more of a private entity. Medicare and Medicaid are on their list to drag into the private sector. Insurance companies pull one-third of the money out of health care, and that money could certainly be put to better use.
Tom Reid, Seminole