by John Howe
[LETTER TO THE EDITORS OF THE KEY WEST CITIZEN AND THE FREE PRESS – OCTOBER 1, 2020]
A friend in Key West recently told me that she still can’t decide who to vote for in the upcoming presidential election. I suggested that she vote for whoever she thought would do the best job getting COVID-19 under control and the economy back on its feet. I then sent her what I think are the main qualifications for the job:
Respect for scientists & other experts: He will listen to experts, even those he disagrees with; will put together a national plan to beat back the coronavirus; will act to build back the economy both in the short-term (adequate, broad pandemic relief legislation) and long-term (deal with the national debt and climate change); will fully recognize that a healthy environment and widespread public health are the foundation for a healthy economy.
Moral character: He will be able to express genuine respect and empathy for others–unite us, not divide us; and will respect and empower America’s racial, ethnic and religious diversity.
Effective leader: He will recognize that in times of crisis a leader must deliver clear, consistent, honest messages; will keep the best interests of all Americans in mind; value international cooperation and alliances (think: COVID-19 vaccine development and distribution); will have the leadership skills, experience and personal discipline to lead and coordinate massively complex projects.
Trustworthy: He will firmly believe in the fundamental importance of telling the truth; won’t give false hope or make unrealistic promises he can’t keep; will have no personal history of corruption or fraud while working a business or government job; will fully disclose his personal and business finances to avoid conflicts of interest that threaten national security; and he will abide by his oath to honor the U.S. Constitution and the rule of law.
In short, I recommend that you vote for the candidate who will help you feel safer, healthier and more financially secure.
So far I haven’t heard back from my friend in Key West, but I’m pretty sure she’ll make the right choice.