Accentuate the Negative
Ramesh Ponnuru addresses a question that is probably not going to go away after this election, namely: What do you do when you decide you have to vote for the lesser of two evils (“To Vote for Trump?”; June 13)? Perhaps the answer lies, in part, in changing the way we cast ballots. Instead of requiring that you cast your vote “for” a candidate, you could also be given the option of voting “against” a candidate (only one vote per voter, but it could be cast either way). This would not solve the problem of unsatisfactory candidates, but at least you could vote against the greater of two evils. The winning candidate would still be the one with the most votes, but the total could be negative. Winning with a total (votes “for” minus votes “against”) that ended up negative might at least keep the winner (who might also be called “less of a loser” or “second-worst”) from pretending that he or she had any kind of mandate, and it might discourage a later run for reelection.
“The Election’s Risk to the Economy” (Kevin A. Hassett, June 27) stated that a graph accompanying the article showed the odds that a recession will occur within twelve months of a presidential election. In fact, it showed the percentage of recessions that have occurred within twelve months of a presidential election. By either measure, recessions are far more likely to be near a presidential election. In the same article, the colors in the graph key should be reversed.
A photo caption in “The Tragedy of Muhammad Ali” (James Rosen, June 27) misstated the year in which the photo was taken. It was 1970, not 1979.