From a policy standpoint, the Democratic presidential candidates are more alike than different, and the most important issue in this campaign is who best to set the country back on a rational course. Many have looked at who can gather which groups of voters. One can certainly make a case for all, but who sticks out from the rest?

It concerns me that some candidates are pandering by offering everything for everybody. I like the aspirational quest, but in this election we must win those in the middle with sound pragmatism.

A good example is universal health care or a single-payer system. Conceptually I like it, but it is a huge undertaking. There is a lot of conjecture about what it would be like, but scrapping the current system in total would leave us vulnerable if it did not work as hoped, and many would be out of work while the government builds the system. I think this is what happened with Obamacare. So movement toward it with a buy-in for those interested is a logical first step … one that might get through Congress. Pete Buttigieg has a lot to offer in this realm.

From the beginning I have been impressed with his solid and understated approach: intelligent, articulate, straightforward and clear without resorting to bumper-sticker responses. When he speaks, I see him formulating a response, not trying to remember his talking points.

LARRY PHILLIPS

171 Roxbury St.

Keene