Founding Fathers knew exactly what they were doing Re: "BCS, Electoral College make no sense," Jan. 10 Mr. Chapman could not be more wrong. The Electoral College was designed to prevent the election of the president based on popularity, with the most populated states dominating the election. This process was specifically designed to keep smaller states engaged in the election process and to give them a voice in national politics.

Elimination of the EC would make the presidential election a popularity contest, with the typical winner being whoever spends the most money. Do we really want our presidents elected by Madison Avenue, MSNBC and the Chicago Tribune?

New York is a prime example of why we need to retain the EC. Whoever carries New York City, Albany, Syracuse and Long Island wins the election every time. The rest of the state has no say in state politics. The EC prevents this from happening to Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, and Wisconsin. Separately and together, they do have a say in national politics.

One more thing, Mr. Chapman. We live in a democratic republic, not a democracy. The Founding Fathers were brilliant men who designed a system of government that has withstood the test of time and the constant meddling of people like you.

Ken Farkas


Examiner headline continues the politics of division

Re: "Congress delays Obamacare vote," Jan. 10 I was very shocked by Monday's front-page headline. Six people were murdered and an elected official was nearly assassinated, and not only do you manage to throw in a reference to "Obamacare," you also place it on the front page while reducing the events in Arizona to a sub-headline.

"Obamacare" is not the name of the health care law, but an example of the heated rhetoric that has spoiled our political environment, shown disrespect to our leaders, and encouraged the anti-government sentiments behind this tragedy. But most importantly, insinuating that its repeal takes precedence over the lives of Americans engaging in democracy is shameful.

The reporting of this tragedy requires tact, not the subtle support of divisive politics. Please discover the former.

Charles J. Slife


America's deeper problem is our society's incivility

Re: "Congresswoman shot in Arizona," Jan. 9 To some, the horrific shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., confirms the presence of a poisonous mentality in our society -- one partially residing in the dysfunctional state of today's popular discourse and how it is being interpreted by the public.

Yet this is symptomatic of a deeper problem: how we treat and speak to each other. We can each do the following to improve things:

» Marginalize those who gossip or lie about others to satisfy a personal or political agenda, as this conduct is persecutory and destructive. Discourse is about education and understanding, not competition or establishing moral superiority. Act accordingly.

» Re-read the First Amendment. It is self-explanatory and not subject to the arbitrary reinterpretations of "political correctness" or any form of determinate ideology. Its perceived limitation is fueling discontent among many.

The influences of character assassination and invective depend on how they are received. If we don't listen, they have no power.

Mark E. Quartullo