Letters to the Editor

Russia’s election tampering doesn’t compare to America’s own

President Barack Obama.
President Barack Obama. AP

Lately, we have heard claims that Russian/Putin influence has tainted our last election. Even if true, the impact has actually been minor compared with U.S. activities overseas and at home. Overseas, think Iran in 1953, Guatemala in 1954, Chile in the ’70s and Iraq still ongoing, just to name a few.

At home, for decades, the U.S. has done a fine job of tainting our own elections. Redistricting and gerrymandering by partisan state legislatures, voter ID laws, voting on workdays, a cumbersome registration system, bipartisan control of the presidential debates and a winner-take-all counting system often leave half or more of all voters disenfranchised.

Moreover, both major political parties have been engaging in voter suppression, mostly in order to gain an unfair advantage over the other party or to prevent third parties from becoming a viable choice. Among other things, the U.S. suffers from a very low voter turnout. Additionally, we have a campaign finance system that heavily favors the rich, corporations and other nonvoting legal entities, thereby drowning out the voices of regular voters.

Even the Electoral College, contrary to the intentions of the Founding Fathers, has been perverted to a meaningless partisan exercise, as was demonstrated just a few days ago.

As Gandhi said: “If you want to change the world, start with yourself.”

Klaus Schumann, Paso Robles