How can the Commission on Presidential Debates not allow Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson to participate [“Hofstra debate: just two,” News, Sept. 17]?

It’s a rigged system. He’s on the ballot in all 50 states and is a viable candidate. He reached 13 percent support in a national Quinnipiac University poll in early September. That could represent 19 million of 146 million voters registered in the United States. That’s more than the number who voted for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton in their respective primaries.

Johnson is polling in the range in which Ross Perot was in 1992, and Perot was allowed to debate. Why are the voters not being allowed to hear Libertarian views?

The commission is doing a tremendous disservice to the American people.

Anthony Henry, Massapequa

 

Of all the issues the candidates have addressed, one that has received scant attention — even though it will affect virtually every American’s pocketbook — is the sole source of income for three of every 10 seniors, and whose benefits could be cut by nearly 25 percent in less than 18 years. It’s Social Security.

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The first presidential debate offers the ideal forum for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump to tell Americans how they’ll update Social Security for the 21st century.

In New York, AARP estimates, Social Security provides 3.5 million people with the benefits they worked a lifetime to earn. We calculate that translates into an annual economic output exceeding $87 billion, supporting thousands of New York jobs.

But 36 percent of Long Island Gen Xers, who were born in the 1960s and ’70s, don’t ever expect to receive Social Security, and the majority of those who do believe their benefits will be reduced, a 2015 AARP-commissioned voter survey found.

Beth Finkel, Manhattan

Editor’s note: The writer is the state director of AARP for New York.

 

I hope the candidates will address whether they would keep the all-volunteer military. Under what circumstances would they impose a draft? If the draft were reinstated, would community service be an alternative option?

Paul Feiner, Greenburgh

Editor’s note: The writer is supervisor of the Town of Greenburgh.

Stop the gang violence on LI

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It’s already too late to say enough is enough, and way past taking our communities back from thugs and gang bangers [“2 teens found slain,” News, Sept. 15].

I should never pick up my newspaper and learn that two young ladies might have been killed because some gang didn’t like them. There’s no such thing as snitching when it comes to protecting our children. There’s no room in our country or our world for thugs and killers.

There’s no time like the present to do whatever is necessary and stop this evil insanity.

Michael HaroldssonMassapequa

Councilman should stand for Pledge

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When New York City Councilman Jumaane Williams refused to stand during the Pledge of Allegiance, the message he sent to his constituents was to insult his flag and his country [“NYC councilman sits while Pledge is being recited,” News, Sept. 15].

He certainly does not serve as a positive role model to the younger generation in his community. It’s his right, but as a public official, he acted most inappropriately and is a disgrace to his office.

Pat KingMerrick

‘No Yorkers’ should support clean energy

The release of the New York State blueprint for offshore wind power is an important step to establishing additional clean energy sources to the grid [“Cuomo starts master plan for wind power,” News, Sept. 16]. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority should be commended for its close attention to this issue. However, it’s extremely difficult for any new power generation to be built because of vigorous, not-in-my-backyard protests from those I call “No Yorkers.”

If New York is to accomplish its ambitious clean-energy goals, No Yorkers need to stop opposing renewable energy projects. Offshore wind power will generate clean energy for the grid while providing jobs and lower electricity costs. That is, unless No Yorkers get in the way.

Arthur “Jerry” KremerManhattan

Editor’s note: The writer chairs the New York Affordable Reliable Electricity Alliance, an advocacy organization that includes power producers.