Ron Yezzi’s “My View” piece a couple of weeks ago used a plethora of words to extol the virtues of science in an apparent effort to describe Republicans as uneducated, archaic science deniers and to make a case for a more modern democracy.
I believe he has a few misconceptions regarding the role of science in our society and the makeup of the U.S. government.
The U.S. is not, nor has it ever been, a democracy. It is a constitutional republic, wherein the people elect representatives who can only exercise their power within the constraints of the law (i.e. the Constitution). Under a true democracy, the rights of individuals or minorities may be removed by majority vote, whereas in a republic the rights of individuals or minorities are protected by law.
The U.S. was founded as a union of 13 states, each with their own unique needs and priorities; with the addition of 37 more states, the disparity of those needs and priorities has been exacerbated.
The allocation of two senators per state and the establishment of the Electoral College were both done primarily to protect the smaller states, and the people in those states, from domination by larger, more populous states.
The last thing we need is more politicians, each with their retinue of aides and support personnel to help them read and interpret bills.
The primary benefit of the Electoral College system is that it deters regionalism, providing presidential candidates incentive to appeal to a wider portion of the electorate and broaden their coalitions. Evidently the Democratic Party believes that it is much easier to change the rules than to stop calling people names and instead try to build a wider coalition.