2016-11-16 / Editorials

Letters to the Editor

Presidential Mandate

The following letter was forwarded to us just before the election. We wanted to share it with our readers who may be interested.

Friend,

Here’s my New York Times letter today; wondering why all president-elects get a “mandate” but not first woman in 227 years.

“Conservative commentators have been preemptively arguing that if Hillary Clinton is elected, she’ll lack a “mandate.” Why? Because “any other Republican would have won” or “if only … (fill in the blank).” Unprovable hypotheticals, however, are not the way we keep score in a democracy. You win, you govern.

George W. Bush didn’t even capture the popular vote in 2000, yet no one seriously questioned his authority. Now, however, [some] keep repeating that she’s a “criminal” (evidence not required) to justify a quick impeachment and/or a scorched earth strategy to delegitimize her presidency.

That is profoundly radical, though not unprecedented. Recall how GOP senators on his Inauguration Day agreed to oppose everything President Obama proposed so he’d suffer the political blame.

If elected, Mrs. Clinton should call out such obstruction and use her “political capital” to leverage Congress toward the popular progressive program that she campaigned on: an infrastructure bank, a path to citizenship, family-friendly policies, a green economy, criminal justice reform, debt-free college, and a stronger democracy based on automatic voter registration and campaign spending reform.

Oh, and get the Senate to actually consider her Supreme Court nominees, as it has for 227 years.

Mark Green
New York

The writer, New York City’s first public advocate, is the author of the recent “Bright, Infinite Future: A Generational Memoir on the Progressive Rise.”

Abolish Electoral College

To The Editor:

I was shocked to learn that Trump was victorious in the election for president. There is something that needs to be changed in our voting system. Hillary received more popular votes, and I believe and strongly advocate that our elections for president should be based on popular vote totals, not Electoral College votes. This is antiquated and must be abolished. The last time a presidential candidate had won in the popular votes but lost in the Electoral College was in 2000. This must be changed, and we are not living in the times when the Electoral College was established. It is time to vote like all other nations for the highest office in the land.

I did not like the relationship between Putin and Trump, and have a feeling that something was done to rig the election. Sorry to say, but why did Russia hack into the DNC emails and Obama’s emails? I pray for our nation to unify and liked Obama’s speech of unification and working for the common good of our nation. This is now an issue of promoting the best for all people in our nation.

Trump gave a good speech and that sent the market up. I do not know why it took Hillary such a long time to make a speech and to thank her workers. Again this was the most awful presidential campaign – one that did not respect the dignity of the candidates, one of mud-slingling, of accusations, lies and bashing and I just pray that Trump will lead our nation in the right direction.

This is shameful, sorry to say, and it was really surprising to hear Trump’s tone of voice change and his actions change when he made his acceptance speech.

There is going to be so much on the plates of our Congress members. By the way, I am glad that Schumer, Maloney and others won, and just hope that our nation heals and morality and decency binds all of our nation together again.

I am glad that Kim introduced the idea of an app to report inappropriate behavior with children in playgrounds etc. Also, I applaud the editorial about the Great War 100 ago and how we should honor our veterans. We must give them jobs, homes or apartments and mental health services. I also am glad that there were warnings about how to protect ourselves during Black Friday against identity theft. I am glad that the NYPD will keep zero tolerance during the holidays. This promotes our safety and security. I am also glad that fire safety tips were given about “Turkey Day” fires and how to prevent them. These were positive articles.

I also think that this issue of the Gazette was the best ever.

Cynthia Groopman
Little Neck

Create New World City

To The Editor:

The plan to run the abandoned Rockaway Beach Line right-of-way, perhaps the most valuable stretch of rail property in the country, and certainly in New York State, into a copycat sky promenade is once again in the air at election time.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the next president of the United States will be a New Yorker. The last New Yorker to reside in the White House showered this great city with some memorable gifts.

Robert Moses pressed the LaGuardia administration to accept the Battery Bridge project, a huge suspension bridge spanning Brooklyn and Manhattan and obliterating the harbor vista from Battery Park which the citizen’s committee vehemently opposed. They demanded a tunnel instead. Moses pointed out that the project was already fully funded and well underway – furthermore, the added cost of tunneling beneath New York Bay was staggering. The city did not have the money. LaGuardia’s hands were tied. The activists turned to their most devoted member, Eleanor Roosevelt, who wrote one of her famous, “…now Franklin, surely you will not.…” letters. And back came a notice from the War Department condemning the bridge. Why? Because an attack could block New York harbor, ignoring the fact that two existing bridges stood between the bay and the Navy Yard. At the same time, LaGuardia got the federal funds to pay for the tunnel in full. So the bridge project became the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel. Moses, in high dudgeon, ripped out the city’s most popular tourist attraction, the New York Aquarium at Battery Park, sending it into exile at Coney Island. He claimed it interfered with the tunnel’s egress - it did no such thing. The Master Builder was trumped by the First Lady and he never forgave her.

Speaking of tourist attractions, all three protagonists, LaGuardia, Moses and FDR worked in unison to deliver a 20th century panoply, intruding New York to the fore among her sister cities. Robert Moses turned the ash dump at the city’s geographic center, Flushing Meadows, into a 1,200-acre theme park with a maze of highways, bridges and vital arteries leading to it, LaGuardia contributed the airport that bears his name, and FDR provided presidential muscle power. The proud parent stationed himself in the bully pulpit and proclaimed “the New York World’s Fair of 1939 open to all mankind.”

The 1,200 calendar pages loosely called the recent past – the distance from 1916 to 2016 – was 100 bloody years of savage warfare that solved nothing. All the human hands I have ever touched, parents, grandparents, family friends and fellow travelers fit into this misty slice of time – my time. All mankind, Leonardo’s so-called wild beast, man the killer, is also man the creator, man the builder. We have built the magnificent edifice of the “Modern Age” upon a mountain of corpses; sparkling global cities growing evermore fantastic day by day; towers of chrome soaring into the sky, poking through the clouds towards the stars we may soon conquer. One is the product, the other the price.

Once again the time to build is howling in the wind, across the Long Island Sound over Flushing Meadows across the ghostly Rockaway Beach Railway to JFK, beyond to the Atlantic, and whistling the Pied Piper’s tune abroad. Time has come full circle, presenting the opportunity, putting the greatness at hand to take our spreading metropolis ever further into the new century. Build a multi-year international exposition and the infrastructure to support it.

Put it deep into the earth – very deep, and layer it; for providence has delivered to us vacant land, a contiguous straight line as if ruled on the map almost clear across the borough. And this straightness gives the ability to build high technology magnetic lift transport that can travel at mind blowing speed, taking minutes to travel between JFK and LaGuardia, in effect making the two airports appear as one. Deep enough for separate layers to carry express, local, and freight service. There being no limit on how deep is deep, building any number of layers to pass beneath and crisscross the borough can thereby meet the needs of the distant future.

This combination of constructing an international exposition with a dazzling array of supporting infrastructure is city sculpting on a Herculean scale. Elegantly planned and vigorously executed it will elevate our New World city to the summit of Olympus in the eyes of all humanity. But to do it, to amass the wealth and power to accomplish the task with any certainty, takes a very special and rare political order. The stars will once again be in alignment come this January. Stick the spade in the earth and they will come, come to revel, come to admire, come to meld.

Joseph Tiraco
Forest Hills

The People Have Spoken

To The Editor:

Congratulations are in order for Mr. Trump’s election win! The American people have chosen their new President to lead the nation forward. This is their choice, and just like Brexit, the people decide and not politicians!

In a Democracy whether one is a millionaire or a pauper, on election day their one vote makes them all equal – for one day at least!

There will always be winners and losers and congratulations and commiserations, for both trigger lively debates for or against. One hopes that common sense would always prevail.

That’s the principle of our modern but flawed democracy, and whether we like it or not, it is still a far superior political system than others.

The American people today have started a revolution of the mind, and I hope it becomes an inspiring, and a just revolution to bring nations closer together than divided.

We shall wait and see, because one thing is for certain: the current corrupt political system in the USA and elsewhere has failed its citizens; just like in Greece and Cyprus!

Andreas C. Chrysafis
www.facebook.com/ACChrysafisAuthor

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