GOP election tactics threaten our republic

By Martin Dyckman • Guest Columnist | A political party that stakes its future on allowing fewer people to vote does not deserve a future. A democracy that accommodates such a party will not have a future.

That is our nation’s present crisis, 234 years after the Constitutional Convention created a government with no prescribed role for political parties.

Scrapping Electoral College could stop a tyrant

By Martin Dyckman • Guest Columnist | During the Spanish Civil War, which the Fascists won, one of their generals said there was a “fifth column” inside Madrid that would capture the capital before any of their four advancing formations could reach the city. Ever since, the phrase has stood for any group of disloyal people aiming to subvert their own country.

N.C. legislators have a chance at redistricting

By Martin Dyckman • Guest Columnist

The North Carolina General Assembly is where good bills go to die. So it is a sign of progress when one of them gets so much as a hearing. That’s why it made news when House Speaker Tim Moore said that there will be one for House Bill 69, to establish a nonpartisan redistricting commission. 

Power-drunk GOP leaders try grabbing for more

By Martin Dyckman • Guest Columnist

A nonpartisan nominating commission can be the best method of appointing judges. Or it can be the worst. It’s all in the details.

The North Carolina General Assembly’s current scheme, which appears on the Nov. 6 ballot as Amendment 4, is one of the worst. Too much is wrong on its face and some all-important details are left to future decisions of that same legislature. That’s like putting ISIS in charge of airport security. Senate President Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore have shown that there’s no power they are reluctant to abuse. 

The U.S. has become an oligarchy

By Martin Dyckman • Guest Columnist

Do politicians read their mail? It depends.

A recent New Yorker article on Christopher Steele, the British espionage expert, scored a direct hit on Lindsey Graham, the senior senator from our neighboring state to the south. Steele, you may recall, put his livelihood and perhaps his life at risk in helping to alert our intelligence agencies to Russia’s covert — and continuing — subversion of our election process. Among other things, Steele wrote the memo that raised the question of whether the Kremlin has seriously compromising information regarding Donald Trump’s personal conduct during a visit to Moscow.

Let’s eliminate the power of the Electoral College

By Martin A. Dyckman • Guest Columnist

Americans are asking why we now have a president whom they wouldn’t trust to manage their finances, teach their children or date their daughters. The answer, of course, is the Electoral College, which was created mainly to protect us from just such a person as Donald Trump.

That’s usually said in a resigned tone of voice, as if there’s nothing that can be done to prevent another such dysfunction. In fact, the Electoral College can be reduced to a figurehead formality in an amazingly simple way. That’s by state legislatures enacting a compact to cast their electoral votes for whichever candidate wins the popular vote nationwide. It’s alive, if not well, in North Carolina in the form of Senate Bill 440. I’ll get back to that.

My resolve is strengthened by Trump

By Martin Dyckman • Guest Columnist

This is a letter my wife and I sent to President Donald Trump:

I write with no expectation of influencing your administration — except, perhaps, to prompt scornful laughter from any minion who happens to read it — as you have proved yourself immune to public opinion. We intend, rather, to inspire others to speak out and to add to the documentation by which history will judge how Americans coped with our greatest national crisis since the Civil War.

Trump just plain wrong on DACA decision

Few presidential decisions have been as unjust, unwise and cruel as Donald Trump's threat to deport nearly 700,000 young Americans if Congress can't come together within six months to save them.

For comparison, consider Andrew Jackson and the Trail of Tears, Woodrow Wilson segregating the federal workforce and Franklin D. Roosevelt ordering Japanese Americans into concentration camps. The underlying factor in all four instances is racism. To deny that is to be part of the problem. If the “sanctity of borders” isn’t naked hypocrisy, why isn’t there a clamor over the nearly 100,000 Canadians who are estimated to have overstayed visas?

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