Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Alternations Needed

George Washington wrote: “The warmest friends and best supporters the Constitution has, do not contend that it is free from imperfections; but they found them unavoidable and are sensible, if evil is likely to arise there from, the remedy must come hereafter; for in the present moment, it is not to be obtained; as there is a Constitutional door open for it, I think the People (for it is with them to Judge) can as they will have the advantage of experience on their Side, decide with as much propriety on the alterations and amendments which are necessary as ourselves.  I do not think we are more inspired, have more wisdom, or possess more virtue, than those who will come after us.”

Our forefathers insisted only literate white male land owners should vote.  Amendments have been made, but our constitution hasn’t been updated enough.  Having two Senators for a state with about the same number of voters as Staten Island isn’t a representative democracy.

In 2004, the population ratio was 70 to 1 between California and Wyoming.  Theoretically, if the 26 smallest states held together on all votes, they would be able to control the Senate, with a total of less than 17 percent of our population.

By using the filibuster, 21 of the 50 states representing a mere 11 percent of the population could muster the 41 votes necessary to stop a majority in the Senate.  We’ve gone too far toward disadvantaging the citizens of larger states.  Senate filibuster rules compounded the advantage of the minority in a way that the founders never imagined. 

By design the Electoral College is undemocratic. Gore won the popular vote in 2000, but George W. Bush became president.  Clinton lost the electoral college vote, but won the popular vote by 2.9 million votes.


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