Let’s make presidential candidates meet these standards

Here’s what readers had to say in Saturday’s letters to the editor.
President Donald Trump pumps his fist during his inauguration Friday in Washington.
President Donald Trump pumps his fist during his inauguration Friday in Washington.
Published November 22

Let’s avoid on-the-job training

Qualifications to run for president

We have apprenticeships to be plumbers, electricians, carpenters, etc., plus probation periods for others when they enter certain jobs to see how they fit and yet, we only have three requirements to be president of the United States, as stated in our Constitution, Article II, Section I, fifth paragraph: “No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident.”

To ensure we have a competent candidate for president, shouldn’t we have a few more relative prerequisites? Such as, have been:

• A U.S. or state senator or a member of Congress or a State House for a minimum of four years;

• An executive Cabinet member confirmed by the Senate, of which there are 20 (for example, secretary of State, Defense, Commerce, etc.) for at least four years;

• A state governor for four years;

• A mayor of a city with a population of at least 150,000 for four years.

• All candidates must release their federal and state tax records for the last six years before running.

This would give us voters a track record to see and evaluate, plus ensure that the candidate has some knowledge of what the job entails.

R. Estabrook, Riverview

The joy of adoption

National adoption month

November marks a time where most of us take a look back at the past year and give thanks for the many blessings in our lives. For thousands of child welfare advocates across the country, it is also a time to celebrate National Adoption Month.

First proclaimed in 1995, National Adoption Month celebrates those who have opened their hearts and homes to children in the state’s community of care while also advocating for the need for more adoptive families throughout Florida. Over the last year, more than 3,000 families across the state opened their hearts and their homes to a child and provided the blessing of a forever family.

Throughout November, the Florida Coalition for Children, an organization that advocates on behalf of Florida’s children and families and those who care for them, and the Selfless Love Foundation, an organization dedicated to transforming the lives of current and former foster youth through awareness and strategic partnerships, alongside our statewide partners, are promoting the One Heart, One Home campaign, encouraging more Florida families to open their hearts and homes and become an adoptive family.

This year’s campaign, One Heart, One Home, seeks to encourage more families to join our community of care by opening their home to one of the more than 800 children and youth in Florida awaiting an adoptive family. If you are interested in becoming an adoptive parent or family, please visit selflesslovefoundation.org/oneheartonehome/. All it takes is one heart, one home, to change a life forever.

Kurt Kelly, Tallahassee

The writer is CEO, Florida Coalition for Children, FLChildren.org.

The oath I took

Hill: Discord serves Putin | Nov. 22

President Donald Trump Evan Vucci  |  AP
President Donald Trump Evan Vucci | AP

When I took the oath at the U.S. Naval Academy, I swore, in part, to “...support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” I was honored to serve our country in peace and war. I did not think of myself as a Democrat or a Republican, but as an American. I believed impeachment proceedings against Presidents Nixon and Clinton were justified because they had irreparably compromised their moral authority to serve as commander in chief.

President Donald Trump is at the center of an impeachment inquiry owing to allegations that he abused his power by seeking Ukraine’s help for his political gain. The allegations were not cooked up in the House of Representatives. In recent weeks Mr. Trump has suggested a whistleblower is a spy who committed treason, denounced and intimidated honorable federal witnesses who have testified during the ongoing inquiry as “human scum,” expressed contempt for Congress by asserting Democrats are “the enemy,” and vilified a free press as “the enemy of the people.” I am appalled, but not surprised.

Tragically for our democracy, most Republican members of Congress have demonstrated they are only too willing to aid and abet Mr. Trump’s efforts to obstruct the ongoing inquiry. I tire of politicians pitting Americans against Americans. This is tearing our social fabric apart and only benefits adversaries like Russia and China at a time when they pose serious threats to our country’s security and next year’s general election.

I hope earnestly that Americans of all political persuasions watched the House of Representatives’ televised impeachment public hearings. Let us set political differences aside during the weeks ahead. Let us be impartial in allowing all aspects of the inquiry to be addressed fairly and openly. Let the facts speak for themselves.

Gordon I. Peterson, St. Petersburg

The writer retired as a captain from the U.S. Navy.

Impeachment not a reversal

White House, GOP senators discuss impeachment trial strategy | Nov. 22

Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., right, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, joined by Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif. Andrew Harrer  |  AP
Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., right, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, joined by Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif. Andrew Harrer | AP

A consistent theme of the Republican and Fox News opposition to the impeachment inquiry is that “Democrats want to reverse the 2016 election.” What I do not understand is how the removal of President Donald Trump and the elevation to president of Mike Pence is in any sense a reversal of the 2016 election. Pence is a very conservative and doctrinaire former congressman who would not be acceptable to anyone who voted Democratic in 2016. But he is not a petulant, law-breaking would-be tyrant who is using the presidency to line his own pockets in every way he can think of. It is those qualities that make Democrats want to impeach Trump; doing so would not make Hillary Clinton the president.

Michael Campbell, Indian Rocks Beach