Letters to the Editor

No checks or balances; time to rethink the government

Isn’t it time we looked at our Constitution? It’s not working all that well.

Congress was meant to be the principal organ of government, there to check a misguided, overweening president, among other things. Instead, it has become a political cheering section, placing partisan advantage above national need, far from the co-equal branch of government intended by the Constitution.

The electoral college, devised to keep the presidency from demagogues, at first gave us George Washington, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. In its current distorted form it gives us Donald Trump.

The founders envisioned a government peopled by public-spirited men dispassionately conducting the nation’s business. Today’s transactional politics throws up political hacks like Sen. Mitch McConnell and Congressman Paul Ryan who make Congress a partisan stock exchange.

Isn’t it time for us to start thinking about ways to reform our political system? Abolishing the useless electoral college would be a good start. Reforming how we choose people to run for office could be another. Are primaries really the best answer? And while we’re at it, we might consider adopting some of the ways of a parliamentary system to loosen the gridlock that paralyzes us now.

Will Sutter