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October 26, 2014

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Letter to the editor:

A good leader needs character

Another view?

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Politicians will be politicians. They will say anything to get votes. What we read in any media outlet is suspect. That is why reading “between the lines” is important.

Politicians show their true selves in unguarded moments. I simply cannot trust Mitt Romney because his positions change constantly depending on his audience. I have seen it so many times that it can’t pass as gaffes anymore.

Regardless of who wins this election, our country will go on as it has for centuries. There are too many variables that not even the president of the most powerful country in the world can control. That is why character is important.

Romney fails the litmus test.

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  1. If we disqualify candidates solely or even mostly on the basis of honesty in stating their positions we'd have nobody to vote for. Ms Agustin disagrees with Romney on philosophy and policies and for those reasons should not and I am sure will not vote for him.

    I won't be voting for President Obama but it isn't because I read 'between the lines' about the man. It is instead, and as it should be, because I disagree with his philosophy and many of his policies.

    He should have approved the pipeline. The tax payer money he spent on 'retail' green energy should have gone instead to green energy 'research' on ways to make it more cost competitive. Health care reform should have concentrated on bringing down costs instead of using taxpayer funds to subsidize 30 million new people. The stimulus money should have been spent much more wisely. More Federal areas should have been released for energy exploration. He should have supported Simpson Bowles and asked Congress to introduce a Glass Steagall type bill. The bailout of the banks should have had many more strings attached to it than it did. There is much more but you get the point.

    Mitt Romney has changed positions from where he was in the primaries. If he hadn't taken the positions he did then, he would not have received the nomination. Democrats veer left in primaries and move to the center in General elections. Republicans veer to the right in primaries and move to the center in General elections. Been that way forever.

    I choose to believe that Mitt Romney is a 'moderate' instead of what President Obama wants me to think he is. I could be wrong, just as many voters now disappointed in President Obama were wrong in 2008. Politicians lie and change positions. That's no revelation and should not be the sole or even a compelling reason to eliminate one from consideration. Philosophy and policies should be what matters.

    Michael

  2. Precisely: Philosophy and policies. What is Romney's really? One's philosophy greatly influence policies.

    Our backgrounds, beliefs, and experiences all contribute to the development of our principles. These principles underpin the decisions we make every minute of the day without us even consciously aware of it. It is only when we are aware of our own beliefs that we can make decisions to change.

    I am sure Romney's beliefs are commendable. My main issue is why doesn't he defend and stand by them regardless of who his audience is? Does he believe in the middle class and the poor? Or does he despise them? Will he champion the country? Or will he champion the rich? Does he believe in sovereignty of nations? Or does he believe in fascism? Does he believe in defending this country? Then why did he choose to serve his church in France? These are not clear to many people? That is where he fails.

    I preface my arguments for Obama with the near impossibility of totally controlling variables for every decision a President makes. The influence of power wielding control over our country, including the Presidency and beyond is vast. It will take a tremendous amount of will power to let the good of the country push through the blockade. AND, my friend, that is where I based my decision.

    Had Romney showed me his strength of character by defending his beliefs no matter who his audience is - in the primaries or in his campaign, I would vote for him. I did not see that. As a matter of fact, I really do not know what his real beliefs are!

  3. Mr Freeman:

    Yes, I am a teacher and you do not know me outside what I post. Argue your positions and leave personal stuff alone. I am not running for office.

    I do not need citations of what I write because I am simply expressing my personal views and observations.

    I was a registered Republican and a conservative. I am no longer because I grew up and found I hate rigidity.

    There is nothing absolute in this world.

  4. Presidents should be able to change political views if necessary but must stand firm on character and values. Rather than stand firm on politics and weak on character and values.

    CarmineD

  5. "Romney has no detailed and or consistent long-term plan for America."

    BChap:

    Governor Romney and Rep Ryan have a joint plan with a vision for the next 4 years for the course of the country. Congress, in concert with the president's leadership and the VP's involvement, works out the details.

    CarmineD

  6. We have a local auto dealer who's advertising refrain is "I'll do anything to sell you a car".

    Mitt Romney wants badly to be the president of the United States. His history gives evidence of a strong tendency to tailor a contradictory policy message to the audience he needs to impress - an alarming confirmation that personal ambition might be his only objective.

    One can look at his history as Governor of Massachusetts for an indication of how he might govern. It can be summarized as 800 vetos(almost all overriden by the Legislature) and One Big Deal.
    So much for successful bipartisanship. When Romney left office his approval rating was under 40%. He began running for President in 2006, his last year in office, and spent all or some of 212 days outside of Massachusetts that year. He spent over $40 million of his own money in an unsuccessful run for the Republican nomination in 2008. Perhaps he wasn't "severely conservative" enough. He appears to have had an epiphany of some kind since then and a second at the first Presidential Debate.

    It's a case of "I'll do anything to sell you Mitt Romney".

  7. Nancy and Bradley,

    I understand you'll both vote for Obama and you have every right to do so. However, just as Romney refuses to detail the less 'popular' parts of his economic plan, so does President Obama. And I must inform you, in case you forgot, that President Obama rejected several of Hilary Clinton's positions in the primary, only to embrace them later, in the General and later as President. I can also assure you that the President speaks differently to different audiences and says different things. That's what all politicians do and there are examples of President Obama doing that in the past.

    You two and many others misstate your reasons for supporting Obama over Romney. You like the President's philosophy and his policies, which is fine. There is no need to minimize that and to maximize what you dislike about Romney.... unless that is being done in an attempt to get more people to vote for Obama and less to vote for Romney....Hmmmmm

    Michael

  8. I agree with you, Ms. Agustin.

    I simply am impervious to developing a drastic case of Romnesia, forgetting everything that happened before.

    Romney has basically the same policies as Bush. Some say they are even worse in scope.

    People need to ask themselves this question before going to the polls and voting....

    Do you expect to vote someone into office (Romney) that has the same policies as a previous President (Bush) that got America into a mess that we're still trying to fix...and you expect a different result?

    Can't happen. Never will happen. You just can't turn a blind eye to political history and hope for something else to happen. When it clearly won't.

    Obama/Biden 2012!

    Romney/Ryan 1040s! Cough 'em up. Let's see what you're hidin' from the American voters....

  9. The writer is correct, you cannot trust Mitt Romney.

    How can you trust someone who lies, distorts the facts and puts out misleading statements???

    Why would any reasonable person support someone like Mitt Romney???

  10. I thought from the headline the letter would be about electing Romney. "A good leader needs character"
    Purely this would indicate Obama as the one with less. If the headline was " He keeps changing his mind" then it would apply to both.

  11. Bradley,

    When are Americans going to stop being so naive? Bush/Cheney and now Romney/Ryan = no character, no morals, no ethics. Obama/Biden = character, morals and ethical. What about William Jefferson Clinton? Where do his morals, ethics and character rank on your scale? How about Jimmy Carter or Ronald Reagan?

    For heaven sakes, because politics are like they are, we cannot trust what any one of them tell us. I would like to think that all four people running have good morals. As for ethics and character, I find it hard to rate anyone that 'lies' as part of their job description as having high ethics and excellent character. It anyone one of them had that, they\'d be leveling with us about what we must do to stop deficit spending and begin to bring down the debt. Nobody is doing that and it is because all four are convinced that if they do that, they will not be elected .... and tragically, they are probably right.

    You and the rest can keep the blinders in place and believe what you believe, but that belief doesn't make it true.

    Anyone trying to convince me to change my support of the candidate of my choice would 'have' to start with a recognition that no side is 100 % right, no side is 100 % wrong and that at the very least the character and ethics of all who run must always be questioned.

    Michael

  12. How about this Michael:

    Let's take all the fluff and make it simple. There's a case that need to be decided by the President. It pits the rich and the poor. Who do you think Romney would favor? Who do you think Obama would favor? It's as simple as that. Am I sure of my choice? Yes. Let's extend it to the candidates' wife. Do you honestly believe Ann Romney cares a rat's behind about 'you people'? No! Being first lady is a pretty intoxicating tonic. Hobnobbing with the world's royalty is exciting thought. Petty? Yes. But, you think it has not crossed their minds? They have everything they could ever want. Being the most powerful is the crowning glory.

    Do you honestly think they want to serve 'you people?' Please.

    Birds of the same feather flock together. It is as simple as that. We can never be sure what the candidates will do. In the absence of certainties, use your gut feeling. And, my friend, that's my gut talking - telling it like it is.

  13. There are still many ignorant Americans who think a black man should not be President. A son of a GOP senate candidate in a campaign speech, told his audience that "this is their opportunity to send Obama back to Kenya!" and the audience clapped with glee! I thought it is 2012 and not the 60s!

    Then in Santa Clara, the protest against Obama included a noose, watermelon, and a sign that read, "Go back to Kenya, you idiot!"

    I think many people voting for Romney, including many rich supposedly educated people, and many politicians, cannot stand the fact that a black man is running the show. That explains the comment
    about doing all they can to make him a one-term president right after inauguration, making good on their threat by blocking him at every turn, then handily blaming him for all his 'failures.'

    Of course they will skewer me for this comment, but why don't they just admit it, call it for what it is, and be done with it. Vote for whomever you like, but please enough with the insults.

  14. RefNV,

    You are not the judge of the LVS Opinion forum. You only damage your own image in trying to assert yourself in this way.

    Everyone has a right to write as they wish, without personal attacks of other participants, even if masked as being information, such as yours. I pay attention to the posters, not the detractors.

    I know it is difficult, and many have had their moments of going over the line. So, don't feel this is limited to you. We all have to take a deep breath and think before we write.

    It doesn't matter what party they support. People can determine for themselves where people stand. We don't need you to do it for us. I know where everyone who posts Opinions stands, without your help.

    A persons expressed views are clear enough, and if they state specifically who they support, fine, but it isn't needed.

    Your approach to judging and acting as the informer on those who comment is way out of order. It goes back to the Inquisition, and fortunately we are not back there yet, though it could become that bad with control by extremists.

    Try to express your points, and stop worrying about trying to discredit the participants. That last time I looked, we still had freedom of speech without a requirement to state what political party we supported.

    I am grateful we have so many intelligent posters here, no matter what their philosophy or who they support. I don't need people to agree with me, or anyone else. I also don't need people to detract from posters opinions for me.

  15. Excellent post Nancy, and follow up comments.

  16. Future,

    "Obama promised a single payer system..."

    That was Hillary Clinton and Dennis Kucinich who promised that, but Obama did not.

    Barack Obama gave qualified support to the single-payer idea in his 2008 presidential campaign, saying that it would be his preference if we were creating a healthcare system from nothing. But Obama said that it wasn't a realistic possibility, given the circumstances.

    Because his support wasn't unqualified in his support, I knew we would not have a single payer system. I was very disappointed.

    Later the lobbyist got a foothold on the plans for a healthcare program, the ACA, and it became a mess. It was a product of healthcare industry lobbyist, Congress and the President. All gave us the ACA.

  17. Freeman:

    My comments are my personal opinion. I made them because to me, this election is crucial for America. I do not need to cite facts why I like or don't like anybody. For every fact you cite, anyone can cite opposing facts as well. I do not depend on the media because they are owned by the powers-that be. Anything published, to me is suspect.

    Comment as much as you'd like, praise your Republican friends to the seventh heaven, but please enough with the insults. It's not good debate practice and it portrays you as desperate.

    Again, I am not running for office. I don't answer to no one except my own conscience. Thank you for your concern.

  18. We have had an obstructionist Congress for at least 2 years of the Obama Administration.

    This because the Republicans changed the allegiance from the American people to Grover Norquist by signing his pledge.

    Romney and Ryan have signed the same pledge.

    So, no matter what happens, they are pledged to Grover Norquist's plan.

    Obama was not able to get the American Jobs Act through the obstructionist Congress.

    Now, this is a big reason for me to not vote any Republicans into office. I consider it an extremely serious issue to sign a pledge such as this.

    You never know what will happen that would need free decision making to deal with the problems, rather than a dogmatic pledge that limits action.

    If anyone signing the pledge would go against it under certain circumstances, they should never have signed the pledge in the first place. That would be a serious action, and show a two-faced character.

    Of course, they would be in serious trouble within the Republican Congress because they would be removed from committees and made pariahs.

    I wonder if the pledge is an excuse for Republicans, rather than taking on the serious responsibility of working on problems in a bipartisan nature, requiring compromise for both parties.

    The pledge is very bad governance, and I feel that Republican's elected representative have been either cowards or treasonous in signing such a pledge. Their allegiance should be to the US alone, not to Grover Norquist or his pledge.

  19. Nancy,
    Great letter to the editor.I like yourself have been a life long Republican (44 years).This will be my very first time in voting for a Democrat (Pres.Obama) in all these past years.

    I like yourself also can see that President Obama has taken on a tremendous work load from former Pres.G.W. Bush.This mess that he inherited is not something that can be fixed overnight.Yet the Republicans try to give us the impression that they can fix it in a short period of time.

    There are a lot more of us former Republicans who have turned to voting Democrat. Than the GOP wants or cares to admit to.

    Keep up with your great posts.I find them to be very accurate and thought out.

  20. RefNV,

    I would like to split the country into 3-4 sovereign nations based on the political philosophy the people hold to.

    One for Republicans, one for Democrats, one for Libertarians, and one for Greens.

    Maybe each would be able to put their plans into action without the obstruction of other parties.

    Maybe the people could live in harmony and peace without the divisions that currently prevail.

    It might do alot to serve the intention of the Constitution for those who believe in it anymore.

    " We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

    This seems to have been forgotten by many partisans.

    So, let's separate and let each new country be free to live as they choose, and establish their own view as the guide for their country.

    If any of those countries want to be capitalists, fine.

    If any want to be democratic socialists, fine.

    There is no longer a way to reconcile the divisions, in my opinion.

    What we have now is a corrupt classical comedy/tragedy with harmful attitudes and actions that are forcing our nation into decline, regardless of what any politician says.

  21. Nancy and Sam,

    I too was a Republican in the past, and I became a Democrat when my philosophy and moral values conflicted with those of Republicans.

    I could no longer support Republicans on the basis of their philosophy and actions.

    Actually, I would rather be in a different party, but I stay with Democrats because they are the only block to Republican policies, which are sometime more like fascism now.

    It is unfortunate that third parties don't focus on getting candidates for Congress running in all states.

    We need third parties to grow and become viable alternatives.

  22. RefNV,

    I must add that there would need to be an immigration policy that would allow people to immigrate to one of the other countries if their political beliefs changed. This would help to maintain harmony and peace.

  23. Thank you, kepi. I appreciate your words of support.

    I answer RefNV for the moment because there is reason to do so, but that won't always be the case.

  24. Character is an issue in this letter.

    Here are a couple of reason's I don't consider Romney Presidential material.

    Controlling: He has been reported by many sources as a controlling person. This can be seen in his management of his campaign until recently, including the chaos. It was not an example of managerial capability as long as he was dictating what was to be done.

    His controlling nature has caused many problems in his campaign.

    Look at the times when he has been very certain to clarify who was who in the power chain between he and Ryan. He cannot allow any reference that doesn't keep him in the Boss position. I don't care if he does it with a smile, it is an indication of a deeper problem in his nature.

    This is a sign of a potential dictator.

    If the crowd cheers Ryan, Romney makes it Romeny-Ryan, and there have been other examples of the same thing.

    This seems to me to be a deep insecurity in the man. Another sign of a potential dictator.

    I bet he gets really hot inside anytime there is a comparison to his father. It is like he has been bent on doing the opposite of his father all his life.

    Secrecy: Over and over his secrecy has been evident. In his 5 Point Plan, in his lack of some level of detail. In his lack of opening more than 2 years of taxes, while he demanded 10 years of Ryans.

    It is a slap in the voters faces that we cannot have more details for an informed vote.

    Those details also can effect who we vote for for Congress.

    It allows him to make all the flip flops and to misinform, and distort, if not outright lie. All of which have become more the image of his campaign.

    The voters have a right to know more, even if circumstances alter the eventual outcome.

    Romney's secrecy is a sign of dishonesty.

    I know the Republican philosophy, so I have to look beyond that to the candidate as a person and evaluate the type of President he would be based on what he displays in patterns.

    No, I see nothing that give me assurance that we would be electing someone good for all of the country in Romney.

    He may be good as a "vulture" capitalist, but I don't want that type of person for President of the United States.

    Even his governance of MA was not very good according to evaluations of his actions.

    The US is more than a corporation to be sold off the the highest bidders.

    The US is the people!!!

  25. Brad, I would vote for Hillary for President in an instant. She is a woman of character, courage and distinction.

  26. The letter writer, Nancy Agustin, has captured the essence of the race...

    Which candidate best reflects the values of the vast majority of the American people?

    Mitt 'I don't care about the 47%' Romney...
    or President Obama, who champions the causes of the middle-class & the most vulnerable among us?

    Not a tough call at all.

    From V.P. Biden:

    "Every presidential race always comes down to who the American people think possesses the character and conviction," he said at a fundraiser in Connecticut. "It will not surprise you on that score, I don't even think it's close between President (Barack) Obama and Gov. (Mitt) Romney."

    http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/201...

  27. Romney has said repeatedly that he will increase Defense Spending, as much as 30% from present levels.

    He believes we have a 'moral obligation' to back up Israel militarily if they invade Iran. He wants a large military presence in the middle east to assert his demands.

    He insists on 'standing up' to Russia and China, meaning he will build more missile sites along Russia's European borders and build the Navy to follow China on the Oceans. He continually insists Russia is our number one Geo-political enemy.

    Where does the money come from? Social programs, Dept of Education, PBS, Depts of Housing & Urban Development and Transportation. These are unnecessary expenditures to someone who knows that science and public education systems are liberal indoctrination. He knows evolution is a lie and follows 4000 year old Egyptian beliefs.

    His 2011 tax returns showed he have 20% to his church and paid about 14% in Federal Taxes. Romney believes his Church is more important then the Federal Government, that religion should be the major power in a person's life and that limited Government means military spending the top priority.

    The Cold War will return and the middle east wars will drain this country into bankruptcy. There is no doubt he will follow this path because he has stated it over and over.

  28. James R. Hoffa hated the dems, thanks to the Kennedy's, John and Bobby. He would have voted for Romney-Ryan in 2012.

    CarmineD

  29. I thank everyone for supporting the concept of character as an ideal trait for a President.

    There are a few implications and conclusions that can be gleaned from this:

    - Supporters of Romney tend to be individualistic, exclusive, and concerned about their own personal welfare, personal wealth, and personal freedom, but only for themselves and their like. Their arguments tend to tear down people who oppose their views, but not the issues in contention.

    -Supporters of Obama tend to be inclusive and concerned of the global impact of their choices considering themselves only as a minute part.

    Senge, in his book on system thinking (The Fifth Discipline), posits that the strength of the whole is dependent on the strength of its parts.

    This whole exercise strengthens the arguments of previous research findings:

    -People with low IQ tend to be conservative, not for lack of capacity, but for their refusal to extend their thinking, analyze, and consider the infinite number of possibilities to every issue. They tend to embrace certain beliefs as the absolute truth and tenaciously hold on to those beliefs refusing to
    consider anything contrary.

    An afterthought:

    I went through a list of contributors to PACs and a very definite pattern was starkly evident. Contributors to the Romney campaign were all Owners or CEOs of large corporations whereas contributors to Obama's campaign were mostly organizations/associations and people who united themselves for a common cause. There was only about 3% who are individuals.

    Honestly, I wish that enormous amount of money was spent on something to improve human chances toward a decent life - not charity - but conditions that will level the playing field especially for children.

    Thanks.

  30. I rest my case.

  31. "And Hilary just admitted that she was at fault for the attack in Libya."

    Then, she ought resign immediately.

    CarmineD

  32. Last week, while speaking to The Columbus Dispatch, Romney declared that nobody in America dies because he or she is uninsured: "We don't have people that become ill, who die in their apartment because they don't have insurance."

    Mitt Romney - from the Salt Lake Tribune, Oct 15 2012

    Romney has no idea what life (and death) are like for those less fortunate than himself. He believes he creates reality with his speech because his religion and his wealth train him to act this way.

    Romney is a character, but his character is malignant, like his beliefs.

  33. Hilary resign? She is the most competent person in all of Washington. She admitted responsibility. She based her decisions on the recommendations of security personnel.

    Carmine, please. I am so tired of your illogical comments. Who would you replace Hilary with? One of your Republican ideologues? The ones who threw us into two major wars we cannot afford and a third one you people are brewing?

    This country is at war with itself because of Republicans' restrictive and exclusive agenda. Why don't you try and practice the Cristian beliefs you brag about so much and practice some kind of Christian humility and consideration for those who are less fortunate than youselves!

    Shoo fly shoo!

  34. "I am praying that God puts the cranky old white guys party out to pasture November 6th."

    That would be VP Joe Biden. At 70 he's out of touch and a dinosaur. Ryan proved it at the debate in Danville Ky. Joe and his boss will be sent packing after Nov 6.

    CarmineD

  35. "Carmine, please. I am so tired of your illogical comments. Who would you replace Hilary with? "

    Susan Rice was being groomed for the job. She, like Hillary, doesn't deserve the job either. Not if what they [Hillary and Susan] say is true. And the American people are owed a speech from President Obama on what exactly happened in the Consulate in Libya and why. Including the conflicting and vacillating stories that followed by all the Admin officials for a month, and still, after.

    CarmineD

  36. IF a teacher or in any profession utilizing communication skills, Ms. Agustin would do herself (and us) a favor with a basic English Composition 101 course. Or, she may prefer something like Writing for Journalists. Words can sound nice without saying anything coherent. Go ask Nancy.

  37. Exactly Mr. Chapline. People who have not much intellectual capacity tend to be bullies because they fight with braun not brain.

    The same is true in this forum. The personal attack tactic on those of whom they disagreed are very common and honestly I consider quite plebeian. Once in a while when the situation calls for it, it can be fun, but still not kosher.

    Thank you Mr. Lamy. I learned English from books and I know very few street language, which oftentimes to some people, the only one they understand. Once in a while I use the ones I know, but they do not have the bite I want.

    I tried to say it like it is, without being offensive. I guess some prefer being bullies, eh?

  38. RefNV, I have no fear of a Democratic Socialist country. And who says all the countries would have Presidents and Congresses as we do now? Some might choose a Parliament with a Prime Minister, or something else. No monarchy's or dictators allowed unless the people chose that form. It would be up to the people to decide the type of players they would have in the government.

    Of all my European friends, the one thing I know is they don't want a USE, given what they know of the USA.

    Nor do a growing number of the countries in the EU. It is the politicians that are steering that. It won't happen.

    Also there is a country, or parts of countries that want to become sovereign now. The question of being part of the EU is unknown.

    The new countries in my idea may form governments that will be different from the current model, since they have experience that might guide them in what not to do.

    I thought about the separate countries and decided we need a fifth country for all the Native Americans we usurped the land from by the most despicable ways. it should be really good land too.

    As far as Obama being divisive goes, that it just plain brainwashing from the likes of Rush Limbaugh and other right wing extremists.

    My "creative" idea is to allow all those who want unity and peace to have the means of living it. That includes all the extremists, for as long as they are able.

    Just imagine all the right wing extremists in one country. How long would it be before they started hating each other and dividing into tribes like in the Lord of the Flies? I bet not long. Maybe Romney or Ryan would be Lord. :-)

  39. "Hmmmmmm...I guess my little buddy Carmine knows next to zero about the history of unions in this country,"

    Wrong. I was the Chief Union Steward for AFSCME. Won every grievance I filed for my members at the first level/and or second.

    PS: Recall it was Nixon would pardoned Hoffa.

    CarmineD

  40. Barackward lost, or at best eeked out a draw on points. Even the Moderator's error didn't assist him with the debate win. You can't lie and misquote the facts with 70 MILLION viewers and get a pass from the American voters. If you're the president, you may not be responsible for the murders of 4 Americans but you are accountable for them.

    CarmineD

  41. RefNV, It is a wishful thinking. I know that many people would not go for it.

    It would be an interesting experience just the same, and allows everyone to choose where and how they live without imposing their will on others who don't want the same thing.