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  1. Opinion

About the Electoral College? People vote; masses of land do not

Here’s what readers had to say in Monday’s letters to the editor.
A voter is reflected in the glass frame of a poster while leaving a polling site during early voting ahead of an election day.
A voter is reflected in the glass frame of a poster while leaving a polling site during early voting ahead of an election day.
Published Nov. 24, 2019

Voters are people, not just places

Base election on popular vote | Letter, Nov. 20

The discord among citizens in America is primarily the result of two partisan misinterpretations of the Constitution by Republican voters and politicians. First, Article 2 establishing the Electoral College, and in Amendment 12 (1804), all references are to electors, people and voters — not land, territories or distribution of human beings. Individual humans cast votes. States and land do not. In 2019, votes are counted electronically and immediately. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the collection and counting of votes would require months to accomplish. Thus, the primary reason for creating the Electoral College no longer exists. Progress and technological advancement requires flexibility and change, two qualities Republicans and conservatives seem to abhor. Second, one of the purposes of the Constitution was to protect the rights of minorities and minority opinions, not to grant governing power to minority positions on issues. As a result of gerrymandering, the Electoral College, and other corrupt, immoral or obsolete processes, minority positions on almost every issue (climate change, gun control legislation, abortion rights, many others) often determine legislation, contrary to the will of the majority of voters. Want to see the makings of a 21st century civil war? What happens if President Donald Trump wins the 2020 election and loses the popular vote by 5, 8, 10 million or more? Not likely, but remember 2016.

David Nathanson, Tampa

It’s what he did after winning

White House, GOP senators discuss impeachment trial strategy | Nov. 22

President Donald Trump [ALEX BRANDON | AP]

No matter how many “outlandish” things President Donald Trump says or does, the standard Republican response to congressional oversight is that the Democrats are motivated solely by the aim of overturning the 2016 election. Admittedly, I and many folks I know were dismayed when Trump won, but we also wanted to give him a chance to prove us wrong, and hoped he would do so. (My then 94-year-old mother, a Republican and Christian, was the only exception, unequivocally declaring him a “con man.”)

It’s Trump’s behavior since taking office, not the winning of it, that makes us increasingly alarmed. Those who express surprise that Republicans continue to abase themselves in support of this scoundrel ignore the obvious: The Republican leadership supports Trump’s objectives. His antics provide a shield the GOP hides behind while excusing the president’s inexcusable conduct, and gleefully moving to enact increasingly draconian policies.

The train is running off the rails of the Constitution and over “We the People” who exist outside the president’s fan base. This is evidently either of no concern or else a desired outcome.

Joan Costello, Clearwater

Fellow Republicans, hear me

Hill: Discord serves Putin | Nov. 22

Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, talks with Steve Castor, the Republican staff attorney, during a hearing. [MANUEL BALCE CENETA | AP]

It is clear my fellow Republicans have no intention of allowing the president to be held accountable for his putting his personal interest ahead of those of our national security. In the short term, this may serve their own political interest. Long term though, not only will this be a serious problem for the overall health of our republic, it will be a serious blemish on the Republican Party. As for the president, long term, I believe he will go down in American history as the most dishonest and corrupt person to ever sit in the Oval office.

Brian Valsavage, St. Petersburg

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