standing letters

The editorial “To make your point, meet the candidates early in N. Hampshire” in the Feb. 24th issue of The Westerly Sun shines a light on personal political engagement, encouraging voters not to engage in secondhand news. Amen, as we struggle to overcome second-rung 2016 results that provided a mandate for the “winning” second-best candidate who lost by 2.87 million not-so-popular votes? One person, one vote? Where? One person, no meaningful vote if you live in 90% of the country with probably only five significant swing states — Ohio, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota & Arizona — determining the 2020 presidency.

Rhode Island had four of the 538 total electoral votes, but does a state’s winner-take-all system make sense? If we are to keep the Electoral College, which may not even make sense, why don’t we award electoral votes in direct proportion to the state’s popular vote? In Rhode Island for example, Clinton won 54.4 percent of the votes and would get 2.176 of our 4 electoral votes and Trump, who got 38.9 percent of our votes, would get 1.556. This would make everyone’s vote count, no matter where they live.

With electoral votes accurately matching each state’s proportion of the country’s population, every person’s vote would have equal weight, avoiding the national embarrassment in a system where 10 percent of the country (five of 50 states) has 100% presidential voting power and avoiding the 2000 and 2016 craziness where popular-vote victors lose. Interested in politics or not, this issue should concern all 328 million Americans, since everyone pays taxes and, like it or not, your politicians decide how your tax money is spent. Do you want your money to fund a $5.7 billion wall that would cost you roughly $17.37? How many windows would you like with your wall enabling you to see how ridiculous this silly obsession is?

It’s encouraging to see the standing-room-only, sellout crowds greet the Democrat candidates in New Hampshire, leading one to believe the current president has not changed presidential politics so much when his lying, deceptive modus operandi departs with him. Presidential alteration or aberration? Aberration, thank you, and don’t let the door hit you, Mr. Trump, on the way out.

Jay Lustgarten


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