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Opinion | ‘Democracy Is Truly in Crisis’

To the Editor:

Re “G.O.P. Voting Bills Ratchet Up the Penalties on Poll Workers” (front page, May 16):

If Republicans would only support policies that a huge majority of people actually want — fair elections, living wages, affordable quality health care and child care, taxation of the very wealthy, to name but a few — they would no longer need to gerrymander voting districts or pass restrictive voting bills to prevent majority rule.

Joe Biden garnered seven million more votes than his opponent, and the Republicans in Congress represent far fewer Americans than do the Democrats. Can we get rid of the filibuster and get our democracy back, please?

Beatrice Shushan
Carlsbad, Calif.

To the Editor:

The G.O.P. is splitting apart over Donald Trump, while hemorrhaging young voters and suburban women. The Republicans fight culture wars and advocate few policy positions. They throw their truth tellers overboard, making the party smaller and smaller still. Their big tent is becoming a pup tent.

The former president never reached 50 percent approval in four years in office. He lost the popular vote twice. He incited an insurrection against the government. His big lie has no chance of prevailing over time against the truth.

This iteration of the Republican Party isn’t sustainable. It can’t win the presidency with Mr. Trump, and can’t win without him. So what do Republicans do? Suppress the vote, cause people to lose trust in our elections and institutions, refuse to accept electoral decisions by the courts, and use their state majorities to advance partisan control of elections.

Opinion Conversation
Questions surrounding the Covid-19 vaccine and its rollout.

All this is groundwork to take power and assert minority authoritarian rule. Democracy is truly in crisis.

David Pederson
Minnetrista, Minn.

To the Editor:

Liz Cheney and Jeb Bush should team up to form a third party. What beautiful and perfect irony that relatives of the leaders of the George W. Bush administration join to save our democracy.

A platform of moral authority and fiscal conservatism would attract not only the multitudes of disaffected former Trump supporters, but also many Democrats who are uncomfortable with the party’s progressive direction.

If nothing else, a new third party would help accomplish what Ms. Cheney urged — “to ensure that the former president never again gets anywhere near the Oval Office.”

To the Editor:

Re “The Wrong Way to Distribute Vaccines,” by Ezekiel J. Emanuel and Govind Persad (Opinion guest essay, May 25):

The suggestion that it is unethical to allocate vaccines equitably across all nations when some countries are faring worse against the ravages of Covid-19 than others misses one crucial fact: Vaccines are at their most effective when preventing surges of the virus, not combating them once they have taken hold.

When outbreaks occur, the critical tools available to governments are of the nonpharmaceutical variety, such as lockdowns, distancing and mask wearing. Vaccines are also a part of the solution, but with up to three months needed for a two-dose Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccination, followed by a two-week wait in order to achieve full protection, they are not an acute intervention even if there are enough to go around.

We don’t know where the next surge will hit or when the next variant will emerge, which is why Covax’s goal to protect the most vulnerable everywhere is, at this stage of the pandemic, the right thing to do. This not only means maximizing the chances of survival for the health workers, elderly and vulnerable whose lives are most at risk, but also minimizing the chances that new, more dangerous variants will come along.

The real issue with vaccines today is not how to divvy up a small slice of the pie for less wealthy nations but how to make their slice bigger, which is why governments and manufacturers of vaccines must do everything in their power to get as many doses as possible to Covax now.

Seth Berkley
Soumya Swaminathan
Richard Hatchett
Dr. Berkley is chief executive of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. Dr. Swaminathan is chief scientist of the World Health Organization. Dr. Hatchett is chief executive of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations. Their organizations co-lead Covax.

To the Editor:

Re “A Push in Texas to Polish Stains of Race History” (front page, May 21):

It’s understandable that Texan educators and politicians would err, as have most nations throughout history, on the side of covering up our atrocities. Perhaps the larger educational moment involves asking, Why is there such a push to obscure now?

It appears the social upheaval of our historical moment is producing pressing and unsettling questions. For example, how do we explain to our children that the land upon which we founded our nation was stolen through the Doctrine of Discovery, which entitled colonial powers to claim ownership of Indigenous lands.

How do we teach our kids that the men who crafted our founding documents owned Black people? What are we to make of the Declaration of Independence phrase “all men” when considering equality?

If we were to see through our delusion of moral superiority, our approach to history would have to deepen and become more nuanced and honest. No wonder many Americans prefer to simply remember the Alamo.

(Rev.) Tom Martinez
Chandler, Ariz.

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