Re “The Loser President” by John Nichols [February 3]: Opponents of the Electoral College should take on the common myth that the institution was set up to protect states with small populations from the tyranny of bigger ones. I do not find any such assertion in documents from the nation’s founders. What I do find is a passage by Alexander Hamilton (in The Federalist Papers, No. 68) demonstrating that the Electoral College was instituted precisely to fix the problems we encountered in 2016. The founders anticipated that the public might be persuaded to choose a corrupt candidate and, in particular, that the electoral process could be captured by a foreign power. For the Electoral College to face the exact situation it was designed to address and then blow its chance removes any shred of justification to continue that process.
East Coast Vibes
I am dismayed by Robert L. Borosage’s description of Donald Trump’s behavior in “The Way Out” [February 3] as that of a “spoiled, delinquent teenager.” Sociopathic behavior has no particular age limit, and it would have been equally possible (and equally undesirable) to find an illustration from Trump’s age group. In an era in which young people—and frequently those even younger than teens—are speaking out clearly about the failures of the established powers to deal with the climate crisis and social issues, it is painful to see such a stereotype.
In the same issue, Rebecca Zweig’s “Organize and They Will Come” also manages to convey an attitude of condescension toward Iowa and the Midwest more broadly through the inclusion of words and descriptions like “Iowa nice” “steak fries,” and the “outsize” importance of the Iowa caucuses.
If The Nation is looking only for East Coast readers above the age of 50, keep it up. You’re doing great.
kansas city, mo.
The Beginning of Understanding
Re Arundhati Roy’s “India: Portents of an Ending” [January 13/20]: This is an amazing overview of India’s recent history. Thanks for the crash course in what could become another global disaster area, if it hasn’t already. Most of us in the West are pretty ignorant about what is happening, culturally and politically, on the other side of the world. That’s certainly true for India’s history.
I do not believe [President Trump and others] are ignorant of what Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has done. Trump and Modi are both empowering and enabling each other. Modi adapted his own reelection slogan in Houston, calling for his Indian audience to support the reelection of “Trump sarkar!”
More Than Words
I know the letters that The Nation receives comment mostly on the articles, but I wanted instead to compliment the unnamed artist who created the picture that accompanied Michael T. Klare’s article “Twin Threats” in the January 27 issue. The polar bear on the bomb looking like the tip of an iceberg was perfect in capturing the concept of the twin threats—climate change and nuclear arms—facing the world. Well done!
Editor’s note: The unnamed artist was none other than The Nation’s own multitalented creative director, Robert Best.