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Only the extremely rich can run for president

Published February 11. 2012 09:02AM

Dear Editor:

Abraham Lincoln would not have been elected president in 2012.

Unless a candidate is very financially wealthy, or is able to accumulate large sums of money from their campaign supporters, they can forget about running for president of the United States in these modern times. This is the dilemma facing Senator Rick Santorum in attempting to win the upcoming primary election on the Republican ticket, while the funding necessary for a successful campaign is rapidly diminishing. I believe Rick Santorum is the man America needs in the White House at this time, if any of the major problems confronting our great country are going to be diligently handled in the proper manner. He has proven to me, and I hope many other viewers are convinced he is the one we need to represent us in Washington, after listening to his campaign debates on television so far. He is a sincerely ethical and honest politician with a strong commitment to what he believes will get America back on the right track again.

Unfortunately, it seems like in our present day American democracy only the extremely rich can afford to run for elected higher positions in our political system. Consider one of our most famous presidents historically known as "Honest Abe" who was born and raised in the back woods of Kentucky, who went on to become a popular lawyer from Illinois. His primary education was self taught with very little to no financial backing at this time during the mid 1800's when he was ambitiously seeking to serve our country by obtaining a political position in our government as the first "Republican".

However, regardless of him lacking certain attributes needed to run for a political office, Lincoln managed to overcome having poor financial stability to become one of the greatest presidents in our American history. Lincoln's outstanding leadership qualities as commander and chief of our country eventually led to his great plan for uniting America as one nation under God. Sadly enough he never lived to see how his accomplishments had affected the final union of the North and South after the Civil War. All of Lincoln's ideas for the future of America eventually materialized through his personal convictions to his faith in God, his firm dedication to the cause for freedom for all Americans regardless of race, and with his strong determination to succeed in establishing a united Republican partied government for the people. There was an unimaginable turnout of 81% of the voters in the country during this time in our history, and Lincoln easily won the presidential election by the popular vote. Abraham Lincoln proved back then that having to be excessively rich was not a crucial factor for him to win the presidential election of 1860 and he had achieved all of his endeavors on his own personal merit, and his abilities as a great leader.

Presently, I feel Senator Rick Santorum is really the only truly conservative candidate still running in this Republican primary. He is also a man with strong integrity and moral principles, who will not be swayed with other alternatives having to do with important issues like being pro-life, or in his commitment to bringing jobs back to America, and in balancing the budget. I admired his display of fortitude the other week during a CNN debate, when he spoke out and demanded the host of the network news station to stop the constant questioning of his opponents past political controversy, or how they earned such large sums of money, and to get on with the more serious problems concerning the American people.

This is the type of person America needs to be representing "we the people" but we must also realize the fact we are not living in the early days of "yesteryear" when Abraham Lincoln was running for president, when large amounts of financial support were not as important in winning an election as it has become necessary today. It is not possible for Rick Santorum to inexpensively do what Abe Lincoln did back in the 1860's when he merely campaigned off the back of a train, as he traveled across a much smaller countryside with fewer States. He will need large sums of financial support for promoting his qualifications through campaign advertising in soliciting his capabilities, along with funding his traveling expenses to cover a much larger national campaign area.

Abraham Lincoln proved to be the perfect man for the job during his term as the president of the United States of America from 1860, until his unfortunate assassination in 1865, but if he was running for president today, he wouldn't be rich enough to go far enough to be elected for any position in our government according to today's financial requirements for any candidate regardless of their political affiliation.

John M. "Jack" Selby



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