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Today's Letters: It's good to have a governor who is a pragmatic realist
By LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Published August 19, 2007
Platitudes are not enough, Charlie Aug. 12, commentary by Sam Rashid
I read with interest this guest column about Gov. Charlie Crist by Sam Rashid, who complains that Crist and other popular national Republican leaders are not conservative enough.
As a moderate Republican, I can agree in principle with several of his views, though not to the same degree. And ours is a nation of degrees. I encourage good debates of the issues, with strong views expounded on both the right and left, so voters can make informed decisions.
While we moderate Republicans strongly believe in the ideals of the Republican Party, we also recognize the validity of many Democratic positions, and vote our conscience.
I am glad we have a governor who is a pragmatic realist, who recognizes the truths we face, and who does what he feels is right for the state and country, even at the expense of alienating a percentage of the voters. Gov. Crist is indeed a friend to everyone, not because he is pandering, but because he is empathetic and promises to take into consideration their views.
Personally, I hope that he understands that religion is the foundation of society, but usually leads to war if it takes control of government; that democracy depends on the free enterprise system, yet we must offer help and hope to the downtrodden; that taxes must be as low as possible, yet children must be protected.
But if Gov. Crist someday comes out against something I want, I am confident he will look me in the eye and say, sorry, but I had to do what I felt was in the best interest of our country. That's all I can ask. If he cannot lower our taxes and insurance rates, at least I will know he gave it an honest try.
Linwood Gilbert, St. Petersburg
Platitudes are not enough, Charlie Aug. 12, commentary by Sam Rashid
I am shocked - shocked - to discover our very popular new governor is a politician! And that he may have aspirations for higher national office!
Also, shockingly, he has formed friendships with the likeable Arnold Schwarzenegger and the less-likeable Michael Bloomberg. Can a friendship with Rudy Giuliani or - horrors - Hillary be next?
As part of the 70 percent of Floridians who feel comfortable with our new governor, I am not surprised about Sam Rashid's dyspepsia over Charlie Crist's core values. Perhaps over-the-counter remedies will soothe his stomach and show that Crist's values are evident in his early management of some issues that need resolution. His priorities, it seems to me, will start to define his beliefs.
A suggestion to Rashid that will ease his distress: Convince the 15 percent of die-hard conservatives to form a new political party called "The Conservatives" and somehow, some way, work with the 15 percent of die-hard liberals to form a new party called "The Liberals." Then, the 70 percent of us leftovers can coalesce into another new party called "The People's Party." That way, this conservative leader will have less reason for ad hominem attacks on someone he clearly dislikes.
Glenn Van Doren, Trinity
Crist is doing okay
I read and reread Sam Rashid's Aug. 12 commentary, Platitudes are not enough, Charlie, looking for the substance of this rambling diatribe against Florida Gov. Charlie Crist. I didn't find it.
Lending gravitas to his commentary, Rashid states that he has "been active in Republican politics for more than 15 years" and even hosted parties for numerous Republican dignitaries.
Since he is a newcomer to conservative politics (he missed the Reagan revolution of the 1980s) perhaps Rashid should be forgiven for not recognizing basic conservative principles in action. U.S. Sen. Connie Mack expressed these principles best: "Less taxing, less spending, less government and more freedom." Crist repeated these principles often during his campaign for governor.
Has the governor adhered to them? He proposed a state budget 3 percent lower than that of the previous year. He vetoed a record $459-million in spending from the state budget. He pushed for and signed into law the largest tax cut in Florida history. I think he's doing okay.
Andy Graham, Tampa
"Hating someone is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die."
This old saying came to my mind because the commentary Platitudes are not enough, Charlie didn't seem to be based upon honest critical analysis but upon the writer's own personal desire to hurt the governor.
And because, it seemed to me that the writer is the person who ended up looking bad.
Daniel P. Quinn, St. Petersburg
Unruly teens have no business at BayWalk Aug. 12, Bill Maxwell column
Teens out of control
Those of us who live in the bay area, not just St. Petersburg but New Port Richey, Clearwater and other cities, know that the area has become a breeding ground for violence by the youth of today. The scenario depicted by letter writer John McNamara is fast becoming a common problem for every law-abiding citizen both young and old.
There are those who think McNamara is a racist. I do not believe he is. He described an incident that is being duplicated all over the bay area. The reality is that there are black teens, white teens and Mexican teens that are causing havoc all over the bay area. It just so happens that the events that McNamara described included an abundance of black teens.
Teens today are out of control. If parents refuse to know what their kids are doing, then they need to be charged with the same crime as their kids when it involves violence. We need to start holding someone responsible for raising teen monsters. There is no race when it comes to what they are doing.
Joe Everhart, New Port Richey
Unruly teens have no business at BayWalk Aug. 12
Rein in minors
Whatever color my skin is, I'm not returning to patronize businesses where I feel unsafe or uncomfortable. Minors should not be wandering around town on their own without reasonable adult supervision. Period.
Robyn Dalton, Largo
Consider the elderly
We need Robyn Blumner's help! Those of us with gray hairs who spend a good bit of time every Monday defending her Sunday columns wish she had a little more empathy for those who have reached a stage of life she will enter sooner than she thinks.
Her lead-in paragraph last Sunday, ridiculing those seniors who are not swift of foot and may be hard of hearing, was gratuitous and only served to detract from the substance of the article (Watching "Frost/Nixon" leads me back to Bush).
Let's not forget: It is many of the gray and bald heads in our area who provide the financial and volunteer support to keep our artistic and cultural programs supplied with contributions and audiences. As studies show, the baby boomers are not keeping up with their elders in the kinds of civic engagement that builds the social capital so essential for a strong community.