ActivePaper Archive LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - Philadelphia Inquirer - Philly Edition, 8/9/2020


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Electoral College is divisive and a disservice

Only once since 1988 has the Republican candidate for president won the popular vote. Twice during that period, the Electoral College has overruled the popular vote. The terms of those presidents will be judged by future historians as disasters. George W. Bush’s first term was marked by 9/11 and the subsequent initiation of the Afghan and Iraq Wars that have changed not only the Middle East but the world, and have cost untold blood and treasure. We are witnessing the debacle that is the Trump administration.

Aside from the obvious mistakes the college can make in overruling the popular vote, it has become a source of political divisiveness. Imagine if in order to obtain the majority of the popular vote and elect a president, the GOP had to have some appeal to the inner-city voter of New York and Los Angeles and Philadelphia? Policies would have to be devised that would be less polarizing.

PM Procacci, Moorestown

Sending priority mail at taxpayers’ expense

Recent news reports of delays in mail service should alarm every citizen. First-class mail is being left on the loading docks because of unnecessary cuts by the newly appointed postmaster general (a major Trump donor). These delays impact everyone who relies on the U.S. Postal Service for such critical items as medications, bills, bank and credit card statements, official government communications, and now vote-by-mail or absentee ballots. And do not forget the birthday, anniversary, get well, and thank you cards.

Yet, it seems our Republican member of Congress, Brian Fitzpatrick from the 1st District, seems to be getting preferential if not priority service. On Aug. 1, I received a “franked” letter, dated July 31, from Rep. Fitzpatrick containing a “Legislative Update” concerning his vote in favor of the TRACED Act. One might wonder why mail from a Republican member of Congress was delivered in one day while more critical mail lies on the dock. And do not forget that Fitzpatrick voted against the HEROES Act, a bill to provide significant relief to the USPS as well as local and state governments.

Virginia Monson, Langhorne

Using White House as a campaign prop

The White House is “the People’s House.” The people elect a president, who is allowed to live and work in the White House as a tenant. When the people elect a new president, that person becomes the next tenant. The idea that President Donald Trump would use the White House as a prop when he accepts his party’s nomination at the Republican convention is just one more indication that he has no respect for either the presidency or the people he is supposed to represent. His focus on getting reelected would let him think he could use the People’s House as a backdrop. On Nov. 3, the people should serve Mr. Trump with an eviction notice so that the next tenant can move in.

Meridyth M. Senes, Burlington

Preventing the next pandemic

While finding “shelter from the storm” is complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic, we find ourselves in a record-breaking hurricane season, with more storms coming earlier than ever before. As with COVID-19, the poor are much more vulnerable to the impacts of storms, record heat, and pollution, but these things don’t know zip codes. Like the pandemic, the climate crisis was foreseen, but decisive action was quashed by narrow economic interests, and we pay the price.

As a family doctor, I know from medical experts that we can nip the next pandemic in the bud — just as we can take action now to establish a stable, safe climate for our grandchildren. Shifting to clean energy now will provide tens of thousands of new, good-paying jobs while reducing climate change threats, protecting public health, and helping us out of this recession. Our votes can make this happen.

Daniel Wolk, MD, Penn Valley

American capitalism runs amok

Pennsylvania turns away a thousand volunteer contact tracers so that the state can hire a corporation to “recruit, interview, hire, train, and support 1,000 new contact tracers” — at a cost of $23 million. That’s a nice payday for that company, at taxpayer expense. God forbid that anything worthwhile should happen in America and nobody’s making a profit.

David Wilkins, Philadelphia