Ramaswamy is a dangerous Trump surrogate | Letters to the editor

If anything important can be gleaned from the Republican candidates’ first TV debate, it’s that Vivek Ramaswamy is a crazy and dangerous dude.

There didn’t seem to be anything he would not spout off about. He had a quick-draw answer for any challenge and was quick to ridicule. If that doesn’t remind you of the contender who didn’t show up, then you weren’t paying attention to Ramaswamy’s words — just his style. I am pretty certain that his plan is to be Donald Trump’s stalking horse and act out, just as the indicted former president would.

Inflammatory words and exaggerations, if not white lies, will be this Trump surrogate’s modus operandi.

David Kahn, Boca Raton 

A sad state of affairs

The once-powerful Republican Party of Lincoln has devolved into nothingness.

The candidates on stage in Milwaukee did not offer we the people much hope. Most indicated they would vote for the former president if he’s their nominee. They also indicated they would pardon him almost immediately, if they should ascend to the presidency.

They were adamant in marginalizing women by limiting their health care as they supported heinous abortion laws. The former president has now been indicted four times, including for unlawful possession of confidential documents and for fomenting an insurrection to overthrow the government.

It’s a very sad state of affairs for America, but we are a country of laws. Everyone is accountable.

To ensure that a Democrat stays in the White House beyond 2024, I urge you to remember this fourth indictment and those potential candidates “debating” on stage and their draconian positions on women’s rights. While you’re at it, don’t forget that mug shot.

Joel A. Elin, Ph.D, Lake Worth Beach 

More bad election legislation

Former President Donald Trump has been indicted for interfering in our elections, but the Republican Party continues to add fuel to the fire by working to make it easier for future politicians to undermine elections.

The American Confidence in Elections Act (ACE), sponsored by Republicans in Congress, does nothing but make it easier for the next person attempting to manipulate an election, just as Trump was indicted for in Georgia.

We need to bring attention to this effort and ensure Republicans who support this act are held accountable.

Susan Ketterer, Fort Pierce

Police and mental health experts

I’ve trained police in verbal de-escalation of mental health crises, and I’ve trained mental health professionals (MHPs) and civilians on dealing with violent encounters. So I understand that the practice, however well-intended, of routinely dispatching psychologists and social workers to the scene of potentially lethal police-citizen encounters may be wrong for several reasons.

First is the danger. Most MHPs are not trained in law enforcement crisis intervention. We mostly work in safe, controlled environments: offices, clinics and hospitals. Second, no standard training curriculum exists for MHPs to respond to law enforcement critical incidents. What happens if an MHP is injured or killed during an incident, or police and an MHP disagree on what strategy to use and a tragedy ensues. Who’s liable?

Third, it’s unnecessary. Most officers are trained in first aid, and can learn the fundamentals of verbal de-escalation until a mentally disordered person can receive more extensive treatment. Hostage negotiators already have an impressive track record at this.

If police officers can learn CPR, administer Narcan, and use defibrillators, why can’t they be trained in basics of active listening and crisis communication?

MHPs play a crucial role as law crisis consultants and co-trainers, as they do on hostage negotiation teams. There’s great potential for broader collaboration between law enforcement and mental health, but we must figure out how to do it safely and effectively.

Laurence Miller, Ph.D., Boca Raton