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  1. Opinion

The White House is no place for old men

Here’s what readers are saying in Monday’s letters to the editor
Michael Bloomberg, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump [Times files]

No White House for very old men

The 2020 campaign

I have a serious concern. While I am 78 years old and won’t suffer or benefit from the decisions of current candidates or elected officials, my kids and grandkids will. Why should we elect leaders in their 70s who will not be responsible for their decisions for very long? This isn’t about ageism. It is simply about electing people with a personal commitment to their own involvement in their decisions.

Historians tell us we can’t determine the impact of a president for 25 years. That means what is done today won’t be fully known until 2045. By then, my offspring will be middle aged or near retirement. The leaders, mostly white males, will likely be dead. Look at their ages: President Donald Trump is 73, Bernie Sanders is 78, Joe Biden is 77, and Michael Bloomberg is 78.

Barack Obama (out of office three years) is still only 58, George W. Bush (out of office 11 years) is 73 and Jimmy Carter (out of office since 1981) is 95. They can see what they did or did not accomplish. Will this current crop be able to say the same?

Tony Leisner, Tarpon Springs

The kids are all right

Student activism is new normal | Feb. 13

This front page article on a “new generation of youth activism” reinforces my personal and professional commitment to encouraging our younger generation to speak up and speak out. As a former public relations professional who now has been teaching the nuts and bolts of my profession for nearly two decades, I emphasize in class after class the importance of making one’s voice — and opinions — known by those who are responsible for governing our communities and managing our businesses.

In the short time that I have been a Tampa Bay resident and have been teaching part time at the University of Tampa, I am encouraged by the number of my students who, at some point in our studies, have mentioned to me an on-campus or community-based organization whose mission they actively support. The future is in good hands.

Kirk Hazlett, Riverview

The writer is an adjunct professor of communication at the University of Tampa and ethics officer for the Tampa Bay Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.

No place for bullying

Rush Limbaugh’s comments

Rush Limbaugh reacts as first Lady Melania Trump, and his wife Kathryn, applaud, as President Donald Trump delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress. [PATRICK SEMANSKY | AP]

As a retired nurse, I am offended at Rush Limbaugh’s vile comments regarding Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg’s sexuality. (The AP reported that Limbaugh said “the country won’t elect Pete Buttigieg president because he’s been ‘kissing his husband’ on stage after debates.”) As Limbaugh navigates the health-care system for treatment of his lung cancer, he will be cared for by many professional people from all walks of life. Each person will treat him with the respect and compassion afforded all in his Stage 4 cancer situation. I know from experience that they will try to keep their personal feelings about him and his comments to themselves as they go about the difficult business of providing care. I believe strongly in freedom of speech but mocking and bullying have no place on the national stage. Is this the example we want for the next generation?

Margaret Golay, Tarpon Springs

A lovely love story

With nuzzles, love endures | Feb. 14

Raymond Whitehurst, 93, and Vivian Whitehurst ,92, were married September 14, 1947. In all those years "We never miss a bedtime kiss- most of the time its two or three," Raymond explains. Just before Christmas last year, Raymond was hospitalized. Vivian bought a stuffed animal at Walgreens (pictured) and put him on Raymond's side of the bed to fill the space. She named him George - but Raymond recently returned and put him out of a job. [WHITEHURST FAMILY PHOTO | Times]

Kudos to Times staff writer Lane DeGregory for the delightful love story of Vivian and Ray Whitehurst. It was the perfect breath of fresh air needed to mask the daily stench from the political swamp.

Colleen Paglen, Treasure Island