Fight back against gerrymandering
The recent election demonstrates that North Carolina is not a representative democracy.
Fifty-one percent of the votes for N.C. House races went to Democratic candidates, but Democrats got only 45 percent of the seats.
Similarly, Democratic candidates got 51 percent of the votes for N.C. Senate races, but only 42 percent of the seats.
Worse yet, Democratic candidates got 49.7 percent of votes for U.S. House races, but only 23 percent of the seats in Congress.
This did not happen by accident. It results from partisan gerrymandering. Republican politicians in North Carolina have a “lock” on the legislature – and they want to keep it that way.
What can you do? Contact organizations that are fighting for redistricting reform – the League of Women Voters or Common Cause – and lend them your support.
Theodore Fuller, Wilmington
I want to know my NC vote counted
In response to Our View “A troubling Board of Elections bombshell” (Nov. 29 Editorial):
As an overseas voter who called no less than three times to the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections in the run-up to November’s election with questions and concerns about the absentee ballot process, I find the state elections board’s actions in the 9th Congressional District race both heroic and warranted.
This is literally the first time I have ever felt worried about whether my vote would be counted, and sadly those feelings were fully justified.
Now I know what even a whiff of disenfranchisement smells like, and it is indeed disheartening.
Mary Ritzmann, Schweinfurt, Germany
Extend small business tax cuts
The highly anticipated midterm elections are finally over and it’s likely gridlock will consume Washington over the next two years.
However, the partisan divide is not the end-all-be-all of public policy.
Policies that support small businesses, such as targeted tax cuts and deregulation, should garner bipartisan support.
The first issue that needs to be tackled is the extension of measures in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that apply to small businesses and are scheduled to expire come 2025.
Passing legislation that will ensure small businesses enjoy continued financial savings for years to come will ensure a stronger economy for all.
Scott Crosbie, Cornelius
Confounded by Congress and lies
In response to “Michael Cohen pleads guilty to lying to Congress” (Nov. 29) and related articles:
Why is it that when a citizen lies to Congress it’s a felony, but when Congress lies to the citizens it’s just business as usual?
Ted Holland, Cornelius
Publish running tally on mass shootings
In response to “Our insincerity over shootings saddens me” (Nov. 23 Forum) and related articles:
Hundreds of Americans are being killed every year in this country by mass shootings.
People are starting to become numb to these all-too-frequent horrific events.
During the Vietnam and Iraq wars, some newspapers showed the number of Americans killed in those wars, prominently displayed on the front page.
I’d like to suggest the Observer add such a count to the daily paper.
We cannot allow ourselves to forget those who have died needlessly.
Ron Winski, Charlotte
Macron is wrong about US nationalism
In response to “In Paris, Trump the ‘nationalist’ stands apart from others” (Nov. 13) and related articles:
Nationalism vs. patriotism: Nationalism means devotion and loyalty to one’s country.
Nationalism is not a betrayal of patriotism. How ridiculous for anyone to say that, especially the French president.
Think of WWI and WWII. If not for the USA, France might not exist. Who is the first to send aid when a humanitarian crisis arises? America.
Nationalism does not mean that one doesn’t care about others.
Lydia Garner, Stanfield
From Halloween to Christmas in a flash
Christmas is a very large celebration. However, as I get older I realize that it has taken over.
It’s sad to see that Thanksgiving is a mere shadow as stores go from stocking Halloween decorations to Christmas ones.
Many stores have Christmas trees decked out before Thanksgiving comes. Toys are taking over before a word is uttered about how thankful we are. People are too “wrapped” up in Christmas to enjoy Thanksgiving.
I think Dr. Seuss said it best in one of his books: “It came without packages, boxes or bags! ...Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store.”
Anna Brouillard, Charlotte