Two million more votes for Hillary Clinton than for Donald Trump, and still counting. Those are the latest figures available as I write this response to Al Fonzi’s attempt (“It’s not about racism,” Nov. 24) to justify an ancient system that denies the presidency to a person who wins the popular vote. (Donald Thump once loudly opposed this system, but now, as the president-elect, he praises it. How about that for hypocrisy?)
The will of the majority is that Hillary Clinton should be our president. Is it ever justifiable to override the will of a majority in a democracy? The answer is that it is justifiable if the majority attempts to deny a minority the exercise of certain fundamental rights, for example, the right to freedom of speech or freedom of religion. These and other rights are protected from the will of the majority by amendments to the Constitution (generally referred to as the Bill of Rights).
Does the Electoral College system also protect a fundamental right when it confers on persons in one geographical region of the U.S. more electoral power than a person living in another region? Under the Electoral College “One person, one vote” is replaced by “One person living in Alaska, two votes; one person living in Los Angeles, one vote.” This is morally equivalent to saying “One white person, two votes; one non-white person one vote.” My point is that a person’s geographical location ought to be as irrelevant as his or her skin color.
There is no fundamental right of a person living in one part of our country to have her vote count for more than the vote of a person living in another region. An electoral system that gives priority to where one happens to live in determining the presidency should have been discarded long ago.
-- Laurence Houlgate - Paso Robles