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Letters

That crowded Democratic field

Democratic candidates for president were seen on an NBC debate stage in June.
Democratic candidates for president were seen on an NBC debate stage in June. (BRYNN ANDERSON/ASSOCIATED PRESS/FILE)

We go about ‘electability’ all wrong

I write in regard to the Aug. 1 letter “Democrats need to steer to middle to attract independents” and other recent discussions on the Opinion pages regarding so-called electability. Absent from the discussion about “electability” is an examination of what it means. We assume that it’s a position on a one-dimensional right-to-left axis. In a presidential election, electability is more about emotional connection and authenticity.

Hillary Clinton is a great example. I love to hear her speak one on one. Her positions are informed, thoughtful, and nuanced. She’s enormously experienced and qualified. Yet I cringe when she’s speaking in public. She doesn’t have the oft-cited common touch like her husband, and she seems to know it. As a result, she cannot be her authentic self on the campaign trail and must adopt a studied persona. This is not an electable way to be.

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Beyond personality, a campaign should be distilled from a simple idea that captures and responds to the zeitgeist — “It’s the economy, stupid” (Bill Clinton), or “Take back control” (the Brexit “Vote Leave” campaign). “I’m with her” was uninspiring, and not even about her or any ideas at all.

I’m in the “Anyone but Trump” camp. Though I have a preference, there isn’t a single candidate in the entire Democratic field that I wouldn’t feel relieved to see beat Trump. Let’s think harder about what makes a candidate electable.

Carol Ginsberg Brown

Watertown

Bold, progressive ideas will bring out the vote in 2020

Instead of everyone worrying what the Republicans will think of the nominee, the Democrats should choose the person with the best ideas to move this country forward (“Sanders, Warren will beat a path for a Trump cakewalk,” Letters, Aug. 1). The party chose a centrist last time, and look how that went. The election is more about turnout than anything else. Someone with bold, progressive ideas will excite people and motivate them to vote. Choosing another ho-hum candidate is the best recipe for another four years of Donald Trump.

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Cathy Putnam

Concord

Williamson plays a valuable role

I found Yvonne Abraham’s characterization of those running for the Democratic nomination to be shortsighted (“Too much democracy?” Metro, Aug. 4). She writes that she’s “had it up to here with the legions of Democrats on debate stages and off, some running just to raise their profiles, or sell books.” I believe that those who are running are thoughtful, committed, and courageous, and that they are in the race because they believe they can help correct the course for our country at this critical juncture.

Abraham’s treatment of Marianne Williamson is unfair. Has she given Williamson the respect of listening thoughtfully to her responses or engaging in a dialogue with her about her concerns? Regarding the candidate’s views on Big Pharma, just look at the opioid crisis. Why shouldn’t Americans be concerned?

Williamson’s most valuable contribution to the discussion and debate, in my opinion, is the critical importance of caring for our children and fostering love for democracy and humanity. All you need to do to understand the importance of her message is to look at the two recent mass shootings. Williamson strives to address the root causes of the problems plaguing our nation. She promotes love over all. She speaks for me.

Kathleen L. Kliskey

Chelmsford

Waiting for inspiring pick from pack

Re “Too much democracy?”: I’m really proud and grateful that all these Democratic candidates have stepped forward to challenge our current president. It can’t be easy for them to put their lives on hold and sacrifice time with their families to run for office. I’ve been enjoying the debates and learning about the candidates, but I’m still waiting to see who among the pack will inspire me to drop everything and work to elect them. I’m looking for another Barack Obama or Ayanna Pressley, and I just haven’t found that person yet.

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Yolette Ibokette

Randolph