Al Gore has won a clear majority of the "popular" vote. If our democracy was constituted as it is most everywhere else, the Democrats and Greens would form a coalition representing a clear majority of all votes cast, with Mr. Gore as head of state.
But in this age of the wired world and a permanent presence in space, the anachronism of the Electoral College may give us a candidate who reflects only a minority's wishes. This should be the last election for the Electoral College.
Kent Southard Dana Point, Calif,
When it appeared that George W. Bush could get the popular vote, Al Gore argued that the Electoral College should determine the next president. Now that this case has reversed, some Gore supporters want us to forget such comments, saying that it is the popular vote that counts.
Both comments insult the US public's intelligence and are simply incendiary. If we fail to see this, we will be not unlike lawyers seeking loopholes for guilty criminals.
Sabrina Fullerton Dallas
This is an unusual election. No one questions that the winner is the person who wins the electoral votes. But the Florida vote is extremely close with many irregularities that favor George W. Bush. The results of Florida will never be trusted by the public, no matter which side prevails.
Governor Bush should concede defeat to Al Gore based on the national popular vote. Most Americans are very uncomfortable with the idea of electing a president who loses the popular vote, but wins based on a technicality of the clearly obsolete Electoral College.
Marc Perkel San Francisco
No excuse for gridlock in Washington
I wish to comment on Dante Chinni's Nov. 9 column "Welcome to the twilight zone." Because of the close election results, Mr. Chinni bemoans what he predicts will become government gridlock the likes of which Washington has never known. Gridlock has certainly existed in Washington on more than one occasion, but those who allow the cries of "foul" to prevail let down their party and the country.
If this nation is to heal, this president must be respected, whether it's George W. Bush or Al Gore. Washington has no excuses for gridlock any longer.
John Setters Newport, R.I.
Abe Lincoln on Letterman?
In Jeffrey Shaffer's Nov. 3 column, "Politics for kids," he recalls that "back in 1988, the idea that candidates for a national office would covet the opportunity to banter with Jay Leno, David Letterman, and other late-night TV hosts would have seemed hilarious. Who's laughing now?"
Certainly, I am not the least bit amused when I consider that I will never see the likes of an Abraham Lincoln on TV running for a national office, or ever hear debates comparable in quality to famous debates Lincoln had with Sen. Stephen A. Douglas.
Moreover, a country that tolerates imagery, sound bites, and campaign-rhetoric over substance should not be evoking laughter from anyone.
Harvey Neilson Manassas, Va.
Correction: A Monitor editorial yesterday incorrectly stated the number of women in the next US Senate. It is expected to be either 12 or 13.
The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Due to the volume of mail, we can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number.
Mail letters to 'Readers Write,' and opinion articles to Opinion Page, One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, or fax to 617-450-2317, or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society