Keep the Electoral College
I enjoyed Luke Thompson’s article “The Almost Excellent Electoral College” (October 1). The most excellent Electoral College forces one to recognize that our republic was designed to be made up of united sovereign states: House members from state districts, senators from state legislatures, and the president from state electors.
Sectionalisms and regionalisms remain real and must be balanced to form our more perfect union.
If we were to move to a national popular vote, then, as the article notes and President Trump has said, presidential candidates would focus on areas where the most votes are and great swathes of our U.S.A. would become true flyover areas, their people consigned to the fate that Lord Byron described as being “unknelled, uncoffined, and unknown.”
David W. Holmes
Blue Ash, Ohio
Why a Space Force?
I thoroughly disagree with your endorsement of creating a sixth branch of the armed services, a.k.a. the “Space Force,” in the Week (September 10).
Don’t we have enough waste, fraud, expense, and bureaucracy already with the five branches we have? How are we going to pay for it? Isn’t it rather hypocritical to bemoan the national debt and our out-of-control spending while advocating another black hole for taxpayers’ money?
I am not suggesting that we do not need to address the military threat in space. What I am hoping is that these problems could more inexpensively be handled through an already-existing entity such as the Air Force or NASA. With a revision of their mission statement and some additional personnel, we could take care of the problem and hold down costs as well.
The Editors respond: This is an entirely legitimate concern, and we are usually hesitant to endorse any new bureaucracy, but space is an emerging area of conflict that needs its own organizational focus. Just as it didn’t make sense to keep the Air Force part of the Army any longer in the 1940s, it is time to break the realm of space out from the Air Force.
Having seen the latest remake of A Star Is Born, I largely agree with Ross Douthat’s assessment (October 29): Better than we feared, worse than we hoped. To Mr. Douthat’s astute observations I will add only that Lady Gaga’s character starts out performing in a scruffy bar for “a mostly cross-dressed crowd,” and her rise to larger audiences and more broad-based popularity is portrayed as a shameful abandonment of her honest, genuine, really real roots. Only in Hollywood could men pretending to be women be considered the standard of authenticity.
But I do have a bone to pick: When did Brooklyn and Queens become the “outer boroughs”? What about Manhattan? For goodness’ sake, you can see New Jersey from there! Whereas if you go to Bushwick or Ridgewood and look in any direction, all you see is New York City. Take the 7 local from Flushing to Grand Central and you’ll find out how much Queens there is. Face the truth — unless you consider wherever you are to be the automatic center of the universe, Manhattan is just as peripheral as Staten Island.