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To the editor: Columnist Nicholas Goldberg and his "circle" feel a "sense of urgency for radical, structural change in the government." He believes that "Americans are eager to reinvent or reinvigorate democracy." Based on his extensive list of perceived structural shortcomings, clearly, he wants to replace the U.S. Constitution.
According to Goldberg, only "partisanship and enmity" stand in the way of solving the "climate crisis, economic inequality and racial injustice," among other problems, and they are the reason "we aren't getting the changes we want."
The "we," apparently, is Goldberg and his circle. Given the obvious current ideological divide, it strains credulity to imply that there is widespread support for an agenda that would fundamentally transform the country in the manner Goldberg articulates.
Thank goodness the Constitution is very difficult to change, to Goldberg's dismay. The alternative he suggests is a federal tyranny that simply follows the flavor of the day chosen by the government class.
Scott Perley, Irvine
To the editor: Goldberg perfectly presents the dilemma for a large number of Americans who are politically cheated by an archaic, anti-democratic Constitution.
It seems common sense has sidelined most radical affronts to our democracy, keeping the ship afloat. Now, sadly, there's simply no conceivable way to correct the litany of bad laws and rules keeping us locked in this partisan nightmare.
Realistically, we can engage in a winner-take-all civil war or opt for the gentler solution: creating Old America and New America.
Both sides get their way. Each state votes a preference. Old America will forge a Christian government, free of abortion, gay rights, taxes and gun controls. New America can have majority rule, no electoral college and proportional representation. Citizens would move to their preferred America.
Yes, it would be messy, but in this age of absolute polarization, compromise is no longer an option.
Greg Hilfman, Topanga
To the editor: Goldberg's lament that our government is resistant to change is out of touch. The framers of our Constitution set up our system of government with checks and balances to work against too much change happening too quickly.
Therefore, we have staggered terms — six years for senators, four for the president, two for representatives and life terms for Supreme Court justices. The filibuster also keeps a stable balance of power between the parties.
The president's political party has lost seats in the House of Representatives in 18 of the 20 midterm elections since 1942. That means two years after a president was elected, Americans voted to increase representation of the opposition party 90% of the time.
If Americans really wanted the major structural changes that Goldberg desires, we wouldn't see this rebound effect in the midterm elections. The framers got it right.
Scott Kassner, Northridge
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.