The value of family ties in the presidency

Your editorial (“The US is a democracy, not a family affair,” July 11) makes some good points. It would have made an excellent objection to the “Kennedy seat” talk when Ted died.

Still, at the White House, family members have often played a useful role. Elliott Roosevelt, second son of FDR, went with his father to key international conferences in the early 1940s, including Cairo, Casablanca, and Teheran. He gave FDR daily advice, and FDR used his son as a daily sounding board. For Elliott’s memoir of those years, “As He Saw It” (1946), his mother, in a preface, praised Elliott’s role (and his brother James’s) in her husband’s success. Eleanor Roosevelt wrote: “Perhaps anyone who has not experienced the loneliness of being the President can not appreciate what having a member of the family near one might mean.” Why do you see only negatives in the close Trump family relationships?

Ross Terrill