EDITOR: Where does it say elections have to be fair and representation equal? Nowhere in our laws is this stated explicitly. As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to hear two more cases concerning political gerrymandering, it is likely that the court will avoid a meaningful decision.
The court’s job is to settle issues based on law, and no law says state legislatures cannot gerrymander. We assume something underpins equality of representation. There isn’t anything — not until we create it. Constitutional change is needed.
Existing constitutional amendments don’t ensure equity in representation. They do guarantee the privilege of voting to individuals but not an equal share of representation.
As the 14th Amendment says, “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens.” Other amendments prevent voting rights from restriction based on race, gender or age. But nothing prevents gerrymandering based on point of view.
Congress is our only effective avenue for constitutional change. As Paul Krugman pointed out, now is the time to prepare substantive changes (“Building the case for a ‘Green New Deal,’ ” Jan. 5). They may not be enacted now, but they might in 2021.
I encourage everyone to message their congressional representative concerning policies that need enactment and to consider including equity in representation.
EDITOR: Regarding Michael George’s letter (“Trump bashing,” Tuesday), I can understand why people would be motivated by Donald Trump’s “shake things up” ethos. Yet, as for “draining the swamp,” it is obvious (at least to me) that, far from draining it, Trump filled it up with the most corrupt set of characters that I’ve seen in my lifetime (58 years). Anyone in Trump’s administration with any integrity has quit or been fired.
Think for yourself, people. Trump is happiest when folks are simply parroting back his own statements (“Lock her up”).
EDITOR: Despite record corporate profits, working Americans need help.
Wells Fargo became the poster child for corporate greed by creating false accounts, while PG&E lobbied to have ratepayers cover its losses.
Big Tobacco knew that nicotine was addictive and smoking caused cancer but lied to Congress. The Ford Pinto was “unsafe at any speed” because it could explode when rear-ended.
Exxon knew that fossil fuels cause climate change but hid the evidence, funded deniers and tried to lower mileage standards.
Three Mile Island, the Exxon Valdez, Love Canal and the Deepwater Horizon weren’t natural disasters.
Our for-profit health care costs twice as much as in other countries. We pay more for the same medicines, and Big Pharma flooded the market with opioids that are killing Americans.
Instead of investing, corporate America used its tax cuts to increase dividends and buy back stock.
After taxpayers bailed out General Motors, it decided to move production to Mexico and lay off 14,000 employees.
Tech giants and social media platforms sold our data and ignored threats to our political system and social fabric.
Based on this history, we need major reforms to rein in megacorporations and address income inequality, universal health care and climate change.