End the Electoral College

The Electoral College is an outdated, obsolete institution. It allows an elite group of senior delegates of the two major parties to decide the outcome of a presidential election by ignoring the popular vote, as happened in 2016, when Donald Trump lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes and still went on to become our erratic and immoral president, arguably the worst in all of American history.

Mainers should urge their legislators to support the National Popular Vote, legislation designed to elect the president by a nationwide popular vote.

Frank Zimbardi

Solon

Holiday greetings

That we worry if it’s better to say “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays” shows just how little most of us have to worry about.

Anne Argast

Lincoln

What might Margaret Chase Smith say?

Imagine if we could travel back in time and talk with Sen. Margaret Chase Smith.

“Hello, Sen. Smith, I am a U.S. citizen from 2019. We need your advice about a current political issue. Our president called the leader of Ukraine and requested a political favor in exchange for military funds the U.S. Congress had already authorized. President Donald Trump wanted Ukraine to declare they were investigating his political opponent. The Senate will likely be voting on impeachment soon.”

Smith might respond: “As I said in my Declaration of Conscience against Sen. Joe McCarthy and his false accusations of Communism, I do not believe the American people will uphold any political party that puts political exploitation above the national interest. I do not want to see the Republican party win that way. We are Republicans, but we are Americans first.”

“Former Sen. William Cohen says this was ‘an impeachable offense’ and ‘I am surprised there aren’t more defenders of the Constitution. [Senators] are there to be a check on the abuse of power.’ Do you agree with that?”

“As I have said, I think it is high time that we remembered that we have sworn to uphold and defend the Constitution.”

“Our senators are Angus King and Susan Collins. Collins thinks of you as a role model. Do you think they should vote for impeachment?”

“If this is proven true, the answer is obvious.”

I urge Maine citizens to call your senators’ offices and ask them to be like Smith.

Kathryn Bourgoin

Orono

Why Sanders is surging

When a candidate’s poll numbers rise, journalists cry “surge.” Recent headlines say that Bernie Sanders has surged in Iowa, New Hampshire and nationally. Does it mean anything?

Yes, lots. Sanders’ steady gains are founded on a popularity that no other candidate can match: people trust him. CNN reported on Nov. 27 that 89 percent of potential Democratic voters see Sanders as “ honest and trustworthy” (more than any other candidate), as do 62 percent of all US adults. He’s the only candidate, among the top Democrats and President Donald Trump, to be trusted by a majority of Americans.

People trust Sanders because he’s held steady for 40 years — no evolving, switching parties, flip-flops or footsie with rich corporations. Like Dr. Seuss’s Horton the Elephant, he’s meant what he said and he’s said what he meant: Sanders is faithful, 100 percent. That’s unique.

Why hasn’t he polled at the top all along, then? Some folks, harassed by “electability” fears, have hesitated to commit to Sanders because they’re afraid other people might not do the same. Yet most of those other people, in fact, also trust Sanders. He “surges” as more and more of us realize that in cold electoral fact, we can vote for the best — and win.

Larry Gilman

Southwest Harbor