Readers write: Merits of voting system, conservatives and climate
Letters to the editor for the April 3, 2017 weekly magazine.
—Merits of voting system
I feel compelled to respond to the Dec. 21 Daily News Briefing “Today’s View” that advocated eliminating the Electoral College. This action would be learning the wrong lesson from the recent US presidential election. The framers of the US Constitution had to create a system of self-government that gives voice to myriad viewpoints without having large concentrations of population in certain regions determine most of the issues of national importance. A pure democracy would have allowed a majority of voters to remove rights, property, and political power from the minority.
The Electoral College was designed to have the states choose the president. Equal state representation in some form was a key compromise at the Constitutional Convention. It was designed to produce a limited government that the newly independent republics would accept in exchange for giving away much of their independent sovereignty to this new federal government. This way, a vast swath of the country would not be a “colony” of the dense population of our urban areas. The regional balance achieved through the Electoral College is more necessary than ever.
Conservatives and climate
Regarding the Feb. 8 story “What climate change action, Republican-style, might look like” (CSMonitor.com): Bravo for a conservative plan addressing climate change! Increasing numbers of Republican voters are concerned. Yet party leaders are fearful of taking a public stand.
It’s clear that attitudes about climate change depend on social and political identity groups. If it becomes acceptable for Republicans to believe in climate change, they will do so. The accountability is with party leaders; the voters will readily follow. Concerns about “big government” can then be addressed on their own merits, in the context of solving a problem that threatens our very existence.
Susan R. Donaldson