ABOLISH ELECTORAL COLLEGE
Children comprehend the concept of voting: We vote for what we want, the most votes win. But not in presidential elections. Hillary Clinton won more than a million more votes than Donald Trump, but an estimated 306 Electoral College votes will elect Trump Dec. 19. How do we adults justify this 18th century anomaly?
The authors of the Constitution thought evaluating presidential candidates required detailed analysis that the average voter couldn’t perform. Skip to the 21st century and ask yourself: Did you get enough information in the 2016 campaign to cast an informed vote for president?
The League of Women Voters has supported popular election of the president since 1970, by which time two presidents had won the Electoral College after losing the popular vote. Now, it has happened twice in the past five elections. It is time to bury this relic and move to popular election of the president.
~ MARGE NICHOLS, PRESIDENT
LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS, PASADENA AREA
As Americans watched state after state move into Donald Trump’s column on TV, it appeared he was receiving a “mandate” for his agenda. But as Trump gathered the necessary Electoral College votes to become our president-elect, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote. More Americans chose her than him.
Historically, our indirect method of choosing the president was designed to obtain support for the Constitution from less populous, rural states, which feared domination by a federal government elected by a national vote. But as we achieved a national identity, the undemocratic quality of this system became apparent.
A discrepancy between popular and Electoral College votes usually sets off a clamor to end the college. This would require a constitutional amendment. However, those who profit politically from the status quo now control all avenues to accomplish this.
Should Trump’s many opponents undertake what looks like a quixotic quest to abolish the college?
Oddly enough, they should. It would be a constant reminder that Trump’s seeming mandate actually reflects only the depth of our national division.
~ TERRY DEFARGE, VIA INTERNET
FROM THE WEB:
Re: “The Hand That Feeds,” Nov. 17
So, only entertainers who have taken a loyalty oath to the institution of predatory capitalism, while also promising to never criticize America’s openly war-criminal behavior towards the rest of the world, may be considered for that special gift of an honorary Oscar.
And while I can’t attest to just how outraged the average Chinese person may be toward the “anti-freedom” attitudes that Jackie Chan perhaps has expressed, I do know that America, which has around a quarter of the general population of China, hosts a prison infrastructure that incarcerates more than six times the number of its citizens than does the “Middle Kingdom.”
Also, while China’s capitalist-redefined economy may be a degree or two closer to “communism,” America’s predatory capitalist state is so much more likely to become a fascist utopia.
The Academy Awards is an entertainment venue. That I know of, there is no official propaganda litmus test to pass in order to receive its prizes. Jackie Chan is a very talented entertainer. His ideas and opinions are also his own.
First, DanD’s comment on prison population in China fails to recognize that China considers its prisoner population a state secret. No one knows for sure how many prisoners are in China, nor do they know how many prisons there are, including the “black jails,” where relatives cannot find out where their loved ones disappeared into.
Furthermore, Amnesty International concluded that China executes more people than the entire world combined. I am sure that DanD would not want the US to execute all our prisoners on death row in order to reduce our prison population.
DanD argues that the decision to give this award should be based solely on Mr. Chan’s past work. However, would DanD have recommended that the Academy should have honored Leni Riefenstahl, one of Nazi Germany’s top propagandists, solely for her innovative filming technique, creative documentary production and directorship without taking into account of her subject matter? I think not.
DanD implies that just because China is currently a market economy it is therefore not a communist country. The communist ideology is that there is a continuous revolution in order to achieve the communist utopia; the use of market economy is merely one of such steps and tools.
One has only to pay attention to what China’s President Xi Jinping has declared in his confidential internal “Document No. 9,” which warns of seven dangerous Western values among which are constitutional democracy, universal values of human rights, civil society, pro-market neo-liberalism, media independence, to understand that China is indeed a communist country in the mode of Mao Zedong.
~ ANN LAU
Re: “A Blind Eye,” Nov. 17
Sounds like the new city manager is in hot water. Watch out Stevie, the “community” fired Hawkey, Kurtz, and Beck. You will be next. Capitulate. Save yourself. Let them own you.
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We misattributed the cover photo of Ellen Snortland in the Nov. 10 edition. The photograph was taken by Kirsten Filonczuk.