"If the Democratic Party is serious about preserving America as a constitutional republic, they must put democracy at the top of their priority list." Do you think the democratic party gets this - will they MAKE it happen? How can we help - other than VOTE? Makes my blood boil.

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What may give a little bit of hope is that another (more or less) democracy had a similar situation and pulled itself out of it. In 1832 for the people of England and Wales representation in the House of Commons was grossly out of whack. Thanks to the historical apportionment of members, modern industrial cities (and hence the growing middle class) had little or no representation while rural areas were dominant. Some of these country places had declined to almost nothing, one in fact had been swamped by the ocean and several others were "owned" by local squires who had the few local farmers vote for them or their sons. The general term for all these places was "rotten boroughs".

Thanks to a new prime minister, the backing of his party, public pressure, and a threat by the king to pack the House of Lords with new members if the bill wasn't passed by them, sweeping changes were finally made. Voting qualifications were standardized, 67 new constituencies were added and 87 were eliminated or reduced in power. The law was by no means perfect, with women specifically disenfranchised and a property qualification to vote being required, but it was the first step in making fair representation in the U.K.

Perhaps we can learn from this example just what can happen when enough public pressure, money and political will is brought to bear on our almost as lousy situation. While amending the Constitution is likely to be a non-starter, many other things can be done. If enough people demand it then the conditions don't have to remain like as they are.

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I agree with what you’ve written. It breaks my heart to recognize how truly low we have fallen. But at the same time, the current situation makes me mad as hell, and that’s the feeling that has to take the upper hand. There are people in and out of our government who should be in jail. As a side note, Hamilton got done in by dastardly Aaron Burr.

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I've been watching the ads for the primaries. It's pretty interesting to see how the Republican ones are all about fighting, while the Dems ads talk about the candidates' records and the ways to improve lives.

This party of bullies aching for a fight are everything described and then some. Like Trump, they will never be happy or satisfied. Together they are wretched and treacherous. We need to keep advancing our democracy in every way we can. If you can't run for office, you can spread the word and make sure you and yours vote.

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All the Democratic party needs to do is push the National Popular Vote, overturn Citizen's United, pass the Voting Rights Act, and eliminate the filibuster....and Whaala!...a democratic republic! Dave Goulding

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Mr. Hartman, as usual, has some compelling observations for us to consider, however, the solution to 'junk' the Electoral College voting component in our US Constitution may be an even more dangerous path than challenging the current recent history of letting the Electoral College cohort of delegates override what we call 'the Will of the Majority." America is a collection of individual states who agreed at the beginning that it would not allow huge urban centers, or large states population centers such as California, to wipe out the choices and life styles of smaller states such as Wyoming, Nevada, Tennessee or Maine. The Portland, Oregon, Metro area is a good example of how an urban area can completely wipe out the ability of an entire state to retain a sense of values and respect: It has driven Oregon so far to the Left that the sub-title for Portland has become 'Keep Portland Weird." And as a result many people who like Portland and Oregon have left.

Abandoning the Electoral College system of balance and integrity for our smaller states may not be a healthy long-term scenario; perhaps it would, structurally, be healthier for America, rural and urban, big and small, to figure out how lessen our bullying tendencies to mandate various social and political choices on all of us and celebrate our differences. There are many, many ways where voters in each state can pay attention to who gets chosen as voting members of the Electoral College system by each party. Let Portland, Oregon, be as weird as it wants to, and let New York and Los Angeles be as crazy as they need to, but, please, let people in East Oregon, Wyoming, Tennessee, Arizona, Nevada and Maine maintain the life styles they cherish. Electing a president every four years is not the single most important choice voters have, if they even vote. Perhaps we all should be focused on NEVER re-electing our career politicians at any level, and demanding a climate of 'Service' with all election dominated by 10,000 contributions of $29 from each of us.

The Electoral College System is just fine the way it was set up, and a million individual contributions of $29 will always influence more than a few 1% Billionaires can muster. Majority rule is a very dangerous form of government as we have seen in the 2020-22 period globally.

Mr. Hartman's citation:

California alone contains 39 million people, almost nine percent of the entire population of the United States, larger than Canada’s 37 million people, with an economy larger than Russia’s.

And yet it is represented by only two senators, the same as Wyoming which has only a half-million citizens (the size of Micronesia), a tiny economy, and few natural resources.

These inequalities have been exacerbated over the past 40 years both because of these 18th century structural errors built into our Constitution, and because, over the past 40 years, a campaign has been undertaken to exploit them by a small group of rightwing billionaires and religious fanatics, with the Powell Memo as their polestar.

They’ve used the wealth and power they’ve inherited or accumulated to manipulate and seize control of our lawmaking institutions at the federal level and in nearly every state.

And Americans have noticed that fair competition has died:

Neither of the last two Republican presidents, for example, was elected by the majority of Americans; the Senate is massively out of balance; and almost every House seat has been gerrymandered to the point where it is no longer in play.

Which is creating a crisis for our nation.

Humans, like most animals, are wired for fairness. Give five toddlers a cookie each and everything is fine; give one of them an extra five cookies and all hell will break loose.

Democracy is in our genes, as is the case with virtually every other animal species on Earth.

When fish swim, bees swarm, or birds migrate it seems like their actions are coordinated telepathically. In fact, each wingbeat or tail twitch left-or-right is noticed as a “vote” by those around them. When more than 50% of the group are twitching to the left, for example, the entire school, swarm, or flock veers to the left. Democracy.

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