Thanks for, in “Public schools still standing tall for N.C.” (July 26), supporting public schools and calling out conservatives in the N.C. General Assembly and elsewhere who maliciously paint public education as “a failing relic of the past.”
However, I take exception to the assertion that Republicans who want to weaken or destroy public schools do it “just for political sport” or that their sight is “short” in the process. Dismantling public education is one of the key elements in an economic/political philosophy and long-term strategy designed to turn back New Deal democracy and return the country to a free market basis of individual “liberty” where property rights are paramount. In this philosophy, expanded voting rights, LGBTQ rights, universal health care, organized labor and financial assistance for the poor, children and the aged or disabled are seen as antithetical to freedom.
However anti-democratic and misguided this philosophy may be for 21st-century America, it has deep, longstanding and well-funded underpinnings and appeals to many people who do not experience diversity, expanded rights and collective responsibilities in a growing democracy as desirable.
Make nonpartisan districts
“N.C.’s redistricting fiasco needs a rapid redrawing of districts” (July 30) claimed that “Everyone, Republican and Democrat,” expects partisan redistricting, a relic of the pre-computer past. As an unaffiliated voter I long for a better democracy where the voters select their representatives unhindered by gerrymandering. If computers can be programmed to create highly-partisan districts, as the GOP has done, they can also be programmed to produce non-partisan districts.
With most precincts already assigned to a single town and/or county, give the computers only the precinct populations – no other data. With this unbiased input and the machines programmed to produce compact equal-population districts, we should get minimal splits of towns and counties and districts favoring the voters, not the politicians.
It appears, though, that neither major party really wants true democracy. The Republicans have proven this with their extreme gerrymandering, and the Democrats have proven it with their biased selection process that made Hillary Clinton their nominee though many left-leaning voters clearly favored Bernie Sanders. Given the current Republican-controlled NCGA there is little hope for the anti-gerrymandering bills HB 200 and SB 209, but if the Supreme Court rules Wisconsin’s gerrymandering unconstitutional, it will move America toward more representative governance and a much stronger democracy.