Steve Chapman’s column lamenting George W. Bush’s victory over Al Gore is distressing for several reasons. It obviously ignores the fact of Mr. Gore’s conduct since that election, which would certainly cause us to thank God for what Mr. Chapman calls a “jerry-rigged system that the framers created without a clue how it would function” and therefore President Bush’s subsequent triumph.
More importantly, the two plans he prefers show his liberal bias and desire to impose his will rather than to trust the people. He recognizes that a constitutional amendment to replace the Electoral College with a national popular vote would not pass.
Accordingly, he espouses adopting the National Popular Vote plan, which would have states allocate their electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote regardless of who won those electors in their individual states. What is that if not a double-tongued way of saying, “If we can’t have a national popular vote, let’s have a National Popular Vote?”
Mr. Chapman’s most egregious error is in stating that the framers hadn’t “a clue how it [the Electoral College] would function.”
In truth, it represented a compromise that guaranteed that smaller states like Rhode Island would not be overrun by larger states like New York.
I know it is now popular to de-emphasize American history in schools, but was that true in his background as well?
Tin Can Alley
On Monday, before the final presidential debate, my husband and I voted at the excellent Leeds Avenue facility.
Last week some of our neighbors voted early there and had a similarly good experience of no lines and easy parking.
Thank you, South Carolina, for offering this voting option for 65 and older for weeks before the November election and long, long lines. Everyone there, including the helpful person who brought up my particular ballot at the voting booth was extremely helpful. The experience made me glad to be an American.
Martha F. Barkley
I am tired of the endless debate over whether I-526 needs to be completed. Of course it does. Everyone knows this; however, some in the community think that not completing the project will stop development and preserve the rural character of Johns Island.
Their alternative plan is to expand existing roads and build new ones to alleviate traffic, but wouldn’t that lead to more development as well?
The antiquated roads in our metro area haven’t kept folks from moving here. As recently as April 2012, the Charleston metro area was ranked the eighth fastest growing region of the United States.
The 665,000 residents who are here can either accept that our population will continue to grow significantly and build the infrastructure to support it, or deny reality and suffer through increasing traffic congestion ad infinitum.
Denying reality is also a tendency of legislators who refuse to raise our gas tax, which at 18.4 cents per gallon, is fourth lowest in the nation. It is essential for our state to raise the tax to fund much needed maintenance of roads and invest in infrastructure needed with our increased population. How many of us who creep along Ashley Phosphate, Dorchester Road, I-26 at the interchange with I-526, and other secondary roads wouldn’t be willing to pay a higher tax to alleviate those delays? How many of us who drive I-26 between Charleston and Columbia wouldn’t pay a higher tax to have three lanes in both directions?
How many of us would gladly pay a higher gas tax to get 30 minutes of our lives back each workday? How much of an impact would increased infrastructure spending have on our state’s economy, not only in construction jobs, but also in increased productivity as a result of shorter drive times?
It is time for our elected leaders get these things accomplished. Maybe if they drive to political events rather than fly around on donated money, things would change.
N. Ridgebrook Drive
I was disturbed by your article “Bullying, a serious issue,” not because children pick on one another relentlessly in schools, and anywhere else for that matter, but because the article seemed to concern the correct response to bullying, but not its cause.
Years ago I was privileged to teach in a small private school on Johns Island. Granted, we had only 300 children and a lot of parental involvement, but bullying was not tolerated.
I taught art and music from kindergarten to high school, and in every instance when it was explained to children that those who bully are unhappy people who feel powerless over their lives and take it out on others, that they are confused and fearful themselves, the problem disappeared and compassion was exhibited by the children toward the “bullier.” Even the bullies came to see their actions as something bigger than they thought.
I found that when my response to disciplinary problems changed from seeking to punish the problem to a simple “What’s wrong today? This is not like you,” I often found that kids were dealing with tragedies and needed someone to talk to. Bullying happens everywhere, even in the adult workspace. As adults we can turn the other cheek and write it off as dealing with a confused individual, but children need more help.
A serious and continuing dialogue with children in the schools would go a long way to helping them understand themselves as developing individuals.
Using a survey of 5,522 Americans, David Cay Johnston, in his paper “United in Our Delusion,” answers the question “Who are we?” He surveys a broad range of people about first how privately held economic wealth is divided in America and second how it should be divided.
The amazing thing is that, within 2 percentage points, all groups (Republican/Democrat, those earning under $50,000, over $100,000 and those between, men and women) answered both questions the same. But also astounding was the distance between the groups and reality.
When we note that the top 20 percent holds $85 out of every $100 of privately held wealth while the bottom 20 percent holds 10 cents out of every $100, some will cry, “This is an effort to redistribute the nation’s wealth.” That argument could be made. Another argument could be made that it is a reason to redistribute responsibility — to let those with the ability to respond to the nation’s needs (taxes) respond.
G. William Domhoff of “Who Rules America?” fame, in his 2011 updated article “Wealth, Income and Power” points out that when we insert financial wealth (wealth that does not include owner-occupied home equity), we learn the top 20 percent hold 93 percent of privately held wealth.
He says that with great wealth comes great power. The top 1 percent pay a lower official tax rate than the next 9 percent. And the official tax rate and the effective tax rate can vary greatly as Gov. Romney’s released returns reveal.
We are a nation that believes in an equality far greater than present reality. This is important for the same reason President Franklin Delano Roosevelt wrote, “We have come to a clear realization of the fact that individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence.”
Robert C. Krogh
An Oct. 3 letter to the editor described a Rep. Chip Limehouse who is nothing like the Chip I have known and called my friend for over 20 years.
Chip is an outstanding public servant who faithfully serves his constituents and the best interests of the Charleston area and the people of South Carolina.
While service in the General Assembly is part-time with a $10,400 annual salary, Chip is a full-time, year-round legislator and advocate for the Lowcountry as demonstrated through his service as chairman of the Charleston County Legislative Delegation, chairman of the Aviation Authority, chairman of the House Ways and Means Higher Education Subcommittee and State Infrastructure Bank Board.
As chair of the airport authority, Chip has worked tirelessly with the state’s political and business leadership to bring new businesses, industries and jobs to the airport and Charleston area — Boeing is a prime example. And you can be assured that he is currently working tirelessly to bring in new business opportunities that have not been publicly disclosed.
I am grateful we have people like Chip representing our community in the General Assembly. The Charleston area and our state have benefited greatly from his 17 years of public service.
As we approach the crescendo of the campaign for president of the United States, it was gratifying to see the results of cooperation between the public and private sectors for the good of all during the 20th Annual IOP Connector Run and Walk for the Child.
The race is organized through the cooperation of the Exchange Clubs of Mount Pleasant and the Isle of Palms, and both municipalities up to and on the day of the event.
This year, however, special appreciation is owed to Chief Ann Graham and the Isle of Palms Fire Department, and Chief Thomas Buckhannon with the police department, who provided the necessary combination of control and flexibility.
With an estimated $76,000 collected for donation to local child abuse prevention/treatment charities from generous sponsors and 1,285 participants, many of us were reminded that while it may be difficult for the private or public sectors to do it alone, much can be accomplished when the two unite for a common good.
Waggoner Law Firm
Belle Hall Parkway
Thank you to the visitor from New Zealand for her Oct. 20 letter of warning about our precious ecosystem.
I am a native Charlestonian and, along with many others, have always loved our trees, marsh, water and wildlife.
With our ever increasing population of many who do not understand how fragile this environment is, how do we slow down the speeding pleasure boats, keep the dogs off the rookeries, stop the building of massive houses (with their docks) as close to the water as possible, and convince people to look around them and enjoy the beauty that is everywhere and take care of it?
Please help us save it.
Martha T. Rudisill
Pier View Street