Trump's scary cabinet picks
Seeing President-elect Donald Trump's picks for cabinet and other top-level posts, I am actually frightened for the first time in my life ("Trump assembling his team," Nov. 18). My friend asked: If it doesn't affect you, why worry?
That attitude is part of the reason we are about to install the most unqualified, narcissistic person in the White House ever.
It won't affect me if Trump deports 11 million illegal immigrants, ripping families apart in the process. It won't affect me if they defund Planned Parenthood; my childbearing years are behind me, so why should I care if low-income and poor women don't have access to affordable birth control and health screenings?
It won't affect me if we can deny LGBT people services and housing; I am not gay. It won't affect me if you are openly racist; I am a white woman.
Why should I care if senior citizens must choose between their medicine and food, or people can be denied treatment because they don't have enough money or insurance to pay for it?
I think my friend was right; I shouldn't worry about any of this if it as long as it "doesn't affect me."
|C. Fogarty, Schwenksville
Too late to overturn election
It is tempting for me and other progressives to want to overturn Donald Trump's election ("Electoral College should vote in Clinton," Nov. 21). However, this would be a bad idea for several reasons:
1. During the election, Trump whined that the "election was rigged," a claim that was totally without basis. However, if the Electoral College overturned the election, Democrats would be accused of rigging the election after the fact, and making his claims come true.
2. Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Trump, and many other candidates entered this race under the existing rules - rules that reflected the role of the Electoral College. If we Democrats now attempt to tinker with those rules, it would reek of illegitimacy and "sour grapes."
Should the Electoral College be abandoned for future elections? Absolutely, and all of us should work hard for that. Should we accept Trump's presidency? Not at all: we Democrats and others who rejected Trump must redouble our efforts to fight his obnoxious speech, impulsive acts, dubious appointments, and upcoming reactionary policies.
In short, over the next four years we'll have plenty to do to fight Trump, but that doesn't include tinkering with how this election's results have played out.
|Bill Dingfelder, Philadelphia
Some votes are worth more
The American people did not elect Donald Trump. The Electoral College, an elite group of 518 individuals, will convene and presumably elect Trump on Dec. 19.
Hillary Clinton received 2 million more votes than Trump. Al Gore lost to George W. Bush in 2000 even though he had over 500,000 more votes.
America is held as the gold standard for Democracy. We have self righteously fought wars and killed millions of people to defend it. But when electing our president, we abandon it, using instead a system that values some votes over others. "All men are created equal" does not apply. A Kansas City, MO vote is worth more than a Kansas City, KS vote.
My vote in Washington holds less value than someone's in Pennsylvania, but more than my neighbor's in Idaho. Individual votes are merely the currency used to buy state Electoral votes. With our inequitable process for electing our highest office, the people's choice doesn't always win. This is not a Democracy. This is what we should be outraged over and protesting - a presidential election process that fails the American people and what we claim to stand for. Visit www.popularvote.com and www.change.org.
|Linda Smith, Issaquah, WA
Trump's bad energy proposals
President-elect Trump's energy proposals are a death sentence for humanity. Here's why:
Humans have burned 2000 billion tons of carbon since 1850 increasing the average planetary temperature by 1.2 degrees Celsius increasing the number and intensity of weather events, ice melt and sea level rise. Scientists say we dare not increase the planetary average temperature beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius or we face dire consequences. That's not much wiggle room.
To stay within this boundary, we can only burn around 473 billion tons more carbon but the world has 2,795 billion tons of carbon in inventory permitted to burn. That's six times more carbon than we can burn which would raise the average planetary temperature by 6 degrees Celsius (eleven degrees Fahrenheit) which would devastate life on this planet. We're well on our way to surpassing the 1.5 degree limit within the next few years and scientists give us 10 to 15 years to keep carbon consumption under 473 billion tons or we pass the point of no return. We must leave carbon in the ground or jobs and the economy will be a moot point.
|Richard Whiteford, Downingtown, firstname.lastname@example.org