Regarding “Republicans uncertain on judge selection, district direction” (Jan. 11): For all the people who keep complaining about politics in the judiciary, they should probably support a merit-based judicial selection process.
Unlike legislators and governors who get media attention daily and weekly, judges barely get attention. There simply is not enough publicly available impartial information to make informed decisions about judicial candidates. Voters have to rely on party identification and campaign materials, and judges have to engage in the partisan political process. You can’t get more partisan than that.
Second, all judges face an inevitable conflict of interest with every stakeholder they harangue to support their candidacy. Every time a volunteer or donor or even a social media supporter comes to court, that judge is faced with a conflict of electoral interest. No matter what the judge rules, it can be called into question.
For those opposed to merit selection, they would do well to remember merit selection is about history, not current politics. There is a reason 37 states have moved away from direct election of judges.
Lead on nuclear
Regarading “US military quietly prepares for last resort: War with North Korea” (Jan. 16): As we pause to reflect on the contributions of Martin Luther King Jr.’s life, we can learn from his views on nonviolence and nuclear weapons as they relate to our current relationship with North Korea and Iran. In 1963, he wrote that we must find an alternative to war and destruction – that in our day of guided ballistic missiles, the choice is either nonviolence or nonexistence.
Even consideration of a nuclear strike to annihilate all North Korean citizens represents the most extreme moral depravity. Furthermore, our threats against North Korea serve to justify their own development of nuclear weapons as deterrence to those threats. Diplomacy, as with Iran, is a better path.
Even better, we could seize this opportunity to embrace the United Nations treaty that bans nuclear weapons the way chemical weapons have been banned. Sadly, this nuclear weapons treaty, signed by 50 countries in 2017, has received little press in the United States. Rather than wasting $1 trillion to upgrade our nuclear weapons, which only increases the rush to nuclear weapons by others, we could provide world leadership to remove the threat of nuclear war.
No President Oprah
Regarding “Oprah for president?” (Jan. 11): No, no, no. The presidency is not a TV show. We’ve tried that. Oprah may be a great person, but we need someone who has governing experience, the ability to keep quiet when necessary and be able to lead our country in very perilous times.
If we survive the present presidency, let’s find a true, experienced leader, not a TV personality.