Howard Schultz should run, the two-party system is broken: Readers | Free Press from USA

Howard Schultz should run, the two-party system is broken: Readers

Howard Schultz should run, the two-party system is broken: Readers

opinion

Letter to the editor:

As a former Hawaii alternate delegate to the 2016 Republican National Convention, I agree completely with former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz’s assessment that America is looking for more choices in a presidential election. For too long, the American people have been misled into a fantasy that third party candidates sabotage the chances of unseating an unpopular candidate. The reality is that the failure or success of any candidate rests exclusively on the strength of their ideas and the likability of their party.

Democrats and Republicans alike cry “Ross Perot!” as a stab-in-the-back legend to keep voters stuck in a paradigm of left vs. right. Schultz, however, understands that this two-party system makes as much sense as coffee shops bitterly dividing into a competition of decaf vs. regular.

Related: How billionaires can best help America: Don’t run for president

A credible centrist, third-party gives voters options, in the same way that Starbucks gave us better versions of decaf, regular or a new “Frappuccino.”

I welcome a third-party run by Schultz. Competition is essential to both change and innovation in America. The two-party system is broken, and our recent 36-day government shutdown is proof that political polarization leads to anguish for everyone. When Democrats and Republicans are both afraid of a third party, Americans should know that’s the right choice to take.

Danny de Gracia; Waipahu, Hawaii

Howard Schultz should check his ego

Letter to the editor:

We need to tell Howard Schultz to check his ego at the door. There is no way the former CEO and chairman of Starbucks can win the presidency running as an independent. 

All Schultz can hope to accomplish is to split the Democratic vote and thereby perpetuate the national nightmare that is President Donald Trump. Think about Ralph Nader of the Green Party. If he had not run in the 2000 presidential election, Al Gore could have been president and, as a result, there would have been no war in Iraq. And absent that war, think of the tens of thousands of lives that would not have been lost or shattered and how many people would not have suffered. 

Howard Schultz: A third-party centrist candidate like me could win the presidency in 2020

Actions do have consequences.

Schultz should run as a Democrat, or not run at all. If we can elect a good Democrat — and there are many in the race already — he could serve and do good in a Cabinet position. 

Mike Cobb; Palo Alto, Calif.

Pence is cherry-picking our data points

Letter to the editor:

Vice President Mike Pence’s column in USA TODAY, “Democrats refuse to compromise on border wall funding,” uses cherry-picked data from a Doctors Without Borders report to make a case for a border wall. 

Pence wrote that “according to Doctors Without Borders, 70 percent of illegal immigrants report being victims of violence along the journey at the hands of human traffickers, drug smugglers and vicious gangs.” 

Pence cited a 2017 report that featured patient survey and medical data from 2015 and 2016, drawn from our medical projects in southern Mexico. While it provides some of the only data available on migrants and refugees from Central America, the report is not a representative survey of all undocumented immigrants. 

Column: Democrats and Republicans flip all the time on border security. This was a fabricated shutdown.

Pence also failed to acknowledge that almost 40 percent of our patients said they fled their countries due to violence, and that close to 44 percent had lost a family member over the prior two years. Many of our patients on migrant routes in Mexico are refugees with a reasonable fear of death or violence if sent back to their countries. 

The administration cites our data on violence in Mexico as it continues to enact policies that block legal avenues for asylum and increase people’s vulnerability to the very violence they claim to be concerned about. A wall on the U.S.-Mexican border will not stop people fleeing for their lives, and will have no impact on the violence they suffer. 

Sophie Delaunay, Interim executive director for Doctors Without Borders; New York

We’re making efforts to improve patient care for American Indians, Alaska Natives

Letter to the editor:

About 2.2 million American Indians and Alaska Native people rely on the Indian Health Service for their health care needs. The leadership at IHS takes its obligation seriously. And any incident of patient harm at IHS is terrible. It is unfortunate that USA TODAY posted a series of articles focused on incidents that happened years ago.

Violated: How the Indian Health Service betrays patient trust and treaties in the Great Plains

IHS is invested in addressing long-standing challenges across the agency. In consultation with the tribes served by the agency, IHS developed the Office of Quality to strengthen quality improvement efforts. This new office will lead the way in continuing to build on improvements already made, such as standardizing patient wait times, implementing a centralized credentialing system, and monitoring the National Accountability Dashboard for Quality in order to make sustained improvements. 

Improving and sustaining the culture of care throughout the Great Plains area, and all the areas we serve, is a top priority for IHS. The agency is committed to working with tribal leaders across the nation to accomplish this. Together, we are moving forward in delivering quality care to achieve the IHS mission to raise the physical, mental, social and spiritual health of American Indians and Alaska Natives to the highest level.

Eric Hargan, deputy secretary of Department of Health and Human Services; Washington, D.C.

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