Readers React: Yeah, California’s upset about the undemocratic Senate and electoral college — because it should be

The California state flag features a grizzly bear. But Wyoming has actual grizzlies, and it has just as much clout in the U.S. Senate.
(Mark Ralston / AFP/Getty Images)

To the editor: Columnist Jonah Goldberg has no problem with the fact that a conservative state like Wyoming (population 580,000) has just as much clout in the Senate as a liberal state like California (population 40 million). He seems to take great pleasure in the frustrations of people who view this as an anomaly in our democracy that should be corrected.

Goldberg’s suggestion that people “move to places like Wyoming or Rhode Island to maximize their electoral power” is as ridiculous as his idea to slice California into three or four states. A better solution would be to amend the Constitution to make Senate representation proportional.

Majority rule is at the core of our democracy. Highly populated states like California did not exist when the framers drafted the Constitution.


David P. Lewis, Long Beach


To the editor: The sometimes amusing Goldberg is particularly entertaining when he asserts, “First, these voters don’t care that much, or they’d move to places like Wyoming or Rhode Island to maximize their electoral power.”

That’s right, just pick up and move the family to game the monstrously undemocratic electoral college scheme.

Regardless of who reaps the benefit of this anachronistic constitutional fumble, we must be rid of it as soon as possible. Simply, inarguably, democracy is one person, one vote.

The framers of the Constitution were very vocal about the limitations of a document mired in compromises meant to bring slave states to the table. They also lacked a crystal ball to foretell the partisan abuses of gerrymandering and voter suppression.

Greg Hilfman, Topanga


To the editor: In Goldberg’s screed about progressives seeking a more “democratic” Senate, he cites the appointment of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh as their primary motivation.

Is Goldberg’s memory really that short? He somehow omits mention of the decidedly undemocratic travesty perpetrated in 2016 by the Senate: the infamous stolen Supreme Court seat.

Had Republican senators acted on President Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to fill the vacancy left by Justice Antonin Scalia’s death, the controversy over Kavanaugh’s nomination would have been muted. But after the GOP so cynically subverted democratic principles to burden the high court with a yearlong vacancy, who can fault progressives for wanting a more representative Senate?

David Schaffer, Santa Monica

Follow the Opinion section on Twitter @latimesopinion and Facebook