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Daniel Ruth is full of poppycock ... or is he? | Letters
Here’s what readers are saying in Tuesday’s letters to the editor.
Jacob Anthony Chansley and others confront U.S. Capitol Police officers outside the Senate Chamber inside the Capitol in Washington on Jan 6, 2021.
Jacob Anthony Chansley and others confront U.S. Capitol Police officers outside the Senate Chamber inside the Capitol in Washington on Jan 6, 2021. [ MANUEL BALCE CENETA | AP ]
Published Nov. 15

Ruth is full of it

Politics in America: Profiles in poppycock | Nov. 13

Regarding Daniel Ruth’s recent column about politics in America. Please quit trying to paint all Republicans with one broad stroke. As a Republican who enjoys talking politics, I don’t believe that “at least 60 percent of registered Republicans believe — without a shred of evidence — that the 2020 presidential election was rigged.”

On the contrary, the vast majority of my Republican friends accept the fact that Donald Trump lost the 2020 presidential election. And yes, a growing number of Republicans I have talked to after the midterms, now firmly believe that Trump should exit stage right and let Gov. Ron DeSantis lead the Republic Party in the 2024 presidential race. Trump’s circus act has grown stale, and it’s time for him to step aside and gaze in the mirror all he wants.

Brett Hayman, St. Petersburg,

Dumb is hard to overcome

Politics in America: Profiles in poppycock | Nov. 13

Columnist Daniel Ruth must have been listening to the conversations that my family has had regarding politics in this country and particularly in Florida. We have also wondered how so many people can be so ignorant or stupid. I too was beginning to think that there were few intelligent people in Florida. Glad to see that I can count Ruth as superior to the average Floridian. His column expressed my family’s thoughts exactly.

David Cox, Clearwater

What credentials?

Blurring the line between expertise and puffery | Nov.11

In her column, “Blurring the Line between Expertise and Puffery,” Faye Flam laments the widespread confusion and distrust created by medical and scientific “professionals with prestigious degrees and affiliations” who are pushing unsubstantiated, conflicting, and misleading statements. Despite her misgivings, she concludes that journalists (and the legal system) remain dependent on these “experts.” The only thing to do is “judge their advice on its merits.” The psychologist, Paul E. Meehl, expressed a similar viewpoint, arguing that we must differentiate between “credentialed persons” and “credentialed knowledge.”

Credentialed knowledge is generated by the scientific method. Unfortunately, a plethora of credentialed persons are willing to confidently make assertions that sound factual but are based, not on scientific evidence, but merely anecdotal evidence, intuition and hearsay. History shows that many such statements turn out to be incorrect.

The lesson is clear: One cannot assume credentialed persons are providing credentialed knowledge. Journalists who play a critical role in trying not to perpetuate the dissemination of “meritless” information must always ask credentialed persons: “What scientific evidence is there to support your statement?” Otherwise, journalists are equally responsible for spreading such puffery.

William P Sacco, St Petersburg

Vote DeSantis

DeSantis wins reelection. Is the White House next on his list? | Nov. 14

Do Times readers understand what democracy means? Our governor got a clear mandate from 60% of the voters. They approve of what he has done and is doing on major issues, including parental rights, mask and vaccine mandates, trans rights, crime and immigration. The crybabies on the left can complain all they want, but for at least the next two years they are stuck with him.

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John Spengler, Spring Hill

A mandate?

DeSantis emerges as the Trump alternative after Florida landslide | Nov. 10

Of the 14,461,755 registered voters in Florida, I see that our governor received 4,613,996 votes, or 31.9%. Hardly a mandate.

David Burg, Tampa

Trump the liability

Maybe Republicans will finally Learn | Nov. 14

To Republicans: You can vote for Donald Trump or you can win general elections, but you can’t do both. Trump, or Trump candidates, can get 45 out of 100 Republicans to vote for them and probably win a primary election. However, those will be the only 45 that will be voting for him in a general election. Please forget all candidates pushing 80 years old. We need real choices in the general election.

David Hagan, Tampa

So-called red wave

End of the purple reign | Nov. 13

The much anticipated red wave fizzled dramatically in most of the country. The only state that went for the Republican agenda in a big way was Florida. I guess the “freest” state in the country is not necessarily synonymous with the smartest.

Michael Lang, Seminole

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