Lately, several letters have appeared attesting to the tea party members’ niceness and how they’re just ordinary folks. With some notable, vocal exceptions, I would agree with that assessment.

Unfortunately, those qualities are assumed to translate to a capability for national leadership. That’s an assumption which is unsupported by actual experience.

Tea party members, as evidenced by their published “core beliefs” (or “manifesto”) and the actions of their elected congressional sympathizers (e.g., Sen. Ted Cruz) make it clear that they are unsuited to lead.

They do not comprehend the larger issues of national import. Worse, some tea party members fail to acknowledge even the existence of such issues, which is a scary level of ignorance.

The specific problems with the tea party’s “core beliefs” as displayed on some of their websites are the following:

• No understanding of macroeconomics and public versus private goods.

• No understanding of our monetary and financial systems, or how the Federal Reserve Bank really operates.

• No acceptance of the societal value of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

• An anti-science, anti-intellectual viewpoint, which will inevitably lead to a severe decline in U.S. world leadership because it’s just about the last area that we lead in right now.

• A lack of understanding of our planet and the fragility of its ecosystem, on which human life depends.

• An isolationist foreign policy that fails to recognize both history and context — or even to acknowledge they are relevant.

• An almost apocalyptic outlook (with a quasi-religious taint), which is terminally dangerous in the hands of a would-be president with his or her hand on the nuclear trigger.

• A closed mind in which “core values” are beyond any debate, so any questioning is actively discouraged. Thus, no new knowledge can ever be acquired because of a deep-seated refusal to look at it.

• A zealous belief that the “free market” will solve everything, when the evidence says otherwise.

The tea party manifesto might be adequate for a township trustee, but it’s dangerously inappropriate for the national stage.

Steve G. Belovich

Hinckley Township

Governing authority

It is hard to watch senators bloviate about Harry Reid`s decision to change the rules on filibusters.

The only thing the “world’s greatest deliberate body” has done since President Obama’s election is to attempt to stifle his governing. Shame on those who promise revenge.

Fred Whitten

Canal Fulton

Limits of ?religious freedom

Letter writers continue to claim that Obamacare’s mandate that employers pay for contraception coverage violates the employers’ religious freedom. It does not.

Like all our freedoms, there are limits to religious freedom. In a diverse society such as ours, with many people having widely varying beliefs, there have to be boundaries that limit where one person’s rights end and another’s begin.

In the case of religious freedom, we are all free to believe what we want, conduct our lives according to our beliefs and worship as we please. However, our religious freedom does not give us the right to force others to change their behavior to fit our beliefs.

That is what Hobby Lobby and various religiously affiliated organizations are trying to do by opposing the contraception mandate.

Attempting to prevent or impede what many employees feel are valid (and legal) health-care choices is not a religious freedom protected by the Constitution.

Employers are free to reject contraception for themselves, but religious freedom does not give them the right to make that decision for their employees. Actually, the mandate forces employers to face the fact that their employees may have different beliefs.

Several writers have suggested the remedy to this situation is to let employees pay for contraception coverage themselves.

Where are the employees going to get the money? From their paychecks, from the same employer who refuses to pay for contraception coverage on the grounds of “religious freedom.”

I don’t see the difference; the employer is paying for contraception coverage either way. This issue really isn’t about religious freedom; it’s about control.

People opposed to contraception are using the guise of religious freedom to force their beliefs on their employees. This is an abuse of the power employers have over employees and shows a troubling disrespect for differing beliefs, both of which are unacceptable.

Thomas Fann

Akron

Nuclear option?detonates democracy

Sen. Harry Reid and President Obama finally played the nuclear-option card, which will allow the Senate to confirm many administration nominees by a simple majority vote. In the past, 60 votes were required for confirmation, as that was what was needed to stop a filibuster. No more.

Even Carl Levin, a liberal senior senator, was appalled by the implications of this most partisan act. The nuclear option will allow Obama to load the courts, particularly the U.S. Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia Circuit, with progressive judges. The court is evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats, but with this change, three new liberal judges will be added, filling vacancies.

This is important because a number of high-profile cases will be coming before this court to determine the power of the president to issue executive orders and directives counter to the intent of Congress. This will be key to the final makeover of this nation, as Obama promised.

This power grab further pushes this country away from our nation’s founding principles of individual liberties and rights and limited government toward an all-encompassing, suffocating progressive collectivism.

With Congress increasingly being stripped of power and courts being populated with friendly judges, there is nothing to stop the administration from dictating how we all must live. We already see how effective government can be with Obamacare. With over three years to prepare, they made a mess of it.

Ernest Liska

Akron

Costly victory?for the Falls

I see Wayne Jones finally bought the mayor’s office in Cuyahoga Falls. It is surprising how a few hundred thousand dollars can buy votes. The question is, what will this election cost the city?

First to go will be the Mayor’s Court. We will see millions transferred from our city to the Stow monument on Steels Corners Road.

Judge Kim Hoover and Clerk of Courts Kevin Coughlin will be awash in money, and Falls citizens will pay much higher fines.

What the citizens of Cuyahoga Falls are really losing is the knowledge of a mayor and an administration of 30-plus people with hundreds of years of public service. Will Jones hand pick the new administration or will the Democratic Party in Columbus fill City Hall with patronage cronies?

I grew up in Cuyahoga Falls and have resided in the old Northampton Township for many years. If it were not for Mayor Don Robart’s leadership, we would all be annexed to Akron.

We would still smell the stench of the Hardy Road landfill. Homes would still be blowing up in the night from the methane gas, and we would be drinking water from tainted wells.

We have first-class fire, police and emergency medical services, with the latest equipment. I know how important this is. They saved my mother’s life twice.

We have the best roads, snow removal and lighting in the state, at a fraction of the cost of other cities. The Falls has a trash hauling system and recycling service that meets the needs of our community.

What about our parks, bike trails, ball fields, swimming pools, soccer fields, tennis courts and wading pools for little kids? I thank Robart’s many years of dedicated service.

Ed Davidian

Cuyahoga Falls

Unwanted donation

I so agree with the Nov. 15 letter “Pain of the victims.” Ronald Phillips wants to donate his heart? What heart? He has no heart. Anyone with a heart would not have committed the unthinkable crime he did. Who would want to walk around with this monster’s heart beating in his or her chest? Not I.

Karen M. Murphy

Akron