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Gilroy
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April 23, 2021

Letter to the Editor: The Electoral College is a wake up call

My office has served the Gilroy community for over 100 years, 40 of them under my watch. Combative politics and modern technology has caused the principles of our republic, specifically the electoral college, to be lost. 

Our republic was formed by rural states and populous states. A compromise forming our union was struck. Legislatively in the senate each state has two votes and in Congress voting representation is by population. Proposed laws must pass both houses to be a law. 

In the Senate, rural states can band together to stop the nation from going off on a tangent and to form a proposed law. This prevents the tyranny of the majority by states having the most population. The Senate is a brake on such tyranny. Congress is the brake on tyranny by an individual, i.e. the president.

The same compromise exists on the executive side. The popular vote is rule by the majority. The electoral college serves as a brake on the tyranny of the majority. By means of the electoral college, the rural states can prevent the nation from going too far in one direction. They can elect a president by banding together. 

An election of a president by the electoral college who does not win the popular vote is meant to be a wake up call to the nation that we have drifted too far apart and are no longer united states. We have witnessed two such elections in recent times. The United States is not just a country; it is a state of mind and an emotional union. A united state is a constant and ever-present goal as politics seeks the middle ground. That middle ground is the United States. The electoral college’s purpose is neither antiquated nor a leftover from an earlier time. It is a vibrant and useful institution meant to bring us together. It helps accomplish Thomas Jefferson’s goal of a nation free from tyranny of any kind.

In the last election the president won the electoral college, not the popular vote. It is not time to fight but to reexamine and learn the truths of each side. Recently the environmentalists and the lumber industry agreed that forest thinning was necessary to reduce fire risk. The truths each were speaking were recognized. Why take so long? In this election we vote to save the union. Citizens of Gilroy vote for people and policies that bring us together, not those that divide us and only serve some ideological purpose.

James V. Simoni,

Johnson & Simoni

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