Len’s Letters #13  Forget the Horse Race

Democrats are accused of a kind of elitism. Meritocratic elites. Members of a meritocratic elite who, perhaps, don’t quite deserve their place. Did they get a head start in the race?Did they get a head start because they were rich? Were their families members of a financial elite. Multi-millionaires. Billionaires. People who really give you a head start.

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Len’s Letter #11 Tara’s Terror, Tara Westover’s “Educated”

Depressed, Tara Westover, an escapee from her survivalist, evangelical parents, was reading John Stuart Mill. At Trinity College, Cambridge on a fellowship. He described women as having “been coaxed, cajoled, shoved, and squashed into a series of feminine contortions for so many centuries, that it is now quite impossible to define their natural abilities or aspirations.”

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Len’s Letter #10 Amazon

About twenty-five years ago, ten years before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court approved same sex marriage, a group that looks very much like the current Family Diversity Projects (FDP) was encouraging Massachusetts schools to display some family photographs. The displays, the the FDP’s displays were called Love Makes a Family. The not legally married spouses in these large-scale photographs were of the same sex.

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021319 Len’s Letter #9 The very worst Republicans

Last fall, the New York Metropolitan Republican Club, neighbors of ours, invited Gavin McInnis and the Proud Boys to put on a little play for them. The play recalled the murder of a Japanese socialist. The play was followed by a brawl as the Proud Boys attacked protesters. Along with a few other members of the East River Democratic Club, in extreme cold, we protested against the election of the man who invited the Proud Boys as President of the New York Metropolitan Republican Club.

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Len’s Letter #8 The Women’s March

The Women’s March is important. A large number of women ran for office in 2018. Most were Democrats. Many attribute their decision to run for office to the inspiration of the 2016 Women’s March. A group of four women gained control of the Women’s March, women who had been invited to join the leadership of the 2016 Women’s March to ensure diversity in the leadership. One result of the dispute is that there were two Marches in New York. (Two in Philadelphia, too, but the dispute was not as contentious.) In New York, the dispute was intense during the period leading up to the marches. Two Women’s March leaders drew particular attention, drew accusations of anti-Semitism.

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Len’s Letter #5 How to get the US Senate its democratic revolution

How can we make the United States Senate more democratic? People from California, Texas, Florida, and New York are underrepresented in the Senate. People from other large states, too. Changing the number of Senators each state has could make representation of the people of various states fairer. That change would require an amendment to the US Constitution. Could the Senate weight each Senator’s vote? Weight a California Senator’s vote as worth 70 times a Wyoming Senators? Thirty-five times a Wyoming Senators? Seven times a Wyoming Senators? Could weighting Senators votes be achieved simply be changing the Senate’s rules? Weighting votes as a way to democratize the Senate without a constitutional amendment. Just as the filibuster gives particular strength to a minority of Senators.

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Len’s Letter #4 The Senate is our least Democratic Political Body

There is a movement on the right. Change the Senate. Repeal the 17th amendment. Return to state legislatures appointing US Senators. However Senators are chosen, it is unimaginable that those who wrote the constitution wanted states to have the same representation when there was a 70-1 or a 40 -1 or even a 30 – 1 population ratio between the largest and smallest, next largest and smallest, and next largest and smallest states. If Justice Scalia considered original intent on this issue, he would have been shocked at the differentials.

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