Divided Congress what framers sought

On Nov. 6, America held an off-year election. There was neither a blue wave nor a red wall. Instead, the Constitution won. The American political system worked as designed.

Once again, there is a divided Congress, with the Democrats taking control of the House and the Republicans retaining control of the Senate. This division reaffirms and reinforces the division of power created by the Constitution. The separation of powers and checks and balances provide examples of fracking the concentration of power.

Given their dystopian view of the corruptibility of human nature, the framers were terrified of a tyranny of the majority on one hand and the monopolization of power by an elite on the other. Accordingly, they sought to create a federal system that divided and redivided power to preclude its monopolization.

The more populous states are favored by the voting system in the House, where the number of representatives allocated to a state is a function of population. In the Senate, all states are equal, each having two senators.

The overall effect is to create a consensus-driving structure where legislative decisions cannot usually be taken without a consensus among most of the legislators. Absent such a working consensus, nothing much gets done without sufficient unity in diversity.

The bottom line here is, like it or not, we are politically stuck with each other.

Richard F. Kessler, Sarasota

Goal not socialism but social responsibility

The hysterical Republican cry of “socialist!” and “socialism!” should only fool the gullible. There is a vast difference between socialism and the goal of social responsibility. Capitalism with more of a conscience should not be impossible.

Civilized countries, other than our own, recognize that healthy children make better students, healthy workers make better employees and better-paid employees add more to the economy, so access to health care and education are assumed necessary.

Corporations, despite an unfortunate Supreme Court decision, are not people. They do not breathe polluted air or drink chemically poisoned water, owe college debt, get cancer or feel a responsibility for other than making a profit.

The current administration’s attack on reasonable regulation of business, along with its tax policy and attacks on certain groups, has exacerbated the differences among us and has reduced the will to find common cause.

A democratic country, with a representative government that responds to the concerns of real people, is a goal worth working toward. That’s not socialism.

Norma Schatz, Sarasota

For planet’s sake, promote tiny homes

I was disgusted to see a story on the front page of the Herald-Tribune’s business section Wednesday that featured an 8,000-square-foot home that is part of the Lakewood Ranch Tour of Homes (“Flashy, even for The Lake Club”). While, nationally, people are buying and building smaller homes, Florida remains oblivious to the effects these “McMansions” have on our climate.

Just imagine the amount of electricity needed to cool and light a property that size. Two studies recently published, and supported by an overwhelming number of climate scientists, issued dire warnings about our immediate future, adding that human beings have 12 years before we suffer irreversible damage from the rise in global temperatures.

Floridians have seen close-up in recent years the effects of climate change in the ferocity and size of hurricanes hitting our state. Street flooding is common in coastal areas.

I suggest a tour of homes that features tiny houses, where owners and architects proudly share their creativity in managing small spaces.

It is time for this newspaper to not only educate Sarasota and Manatee county residents to the danger of climate change, but offer solutions that every individual can participate in to make a difference, starting with the size of homes we choose to purchase.

Oh, and it wouldn’t hurt to stop eating beef, one of the easiest ways to reduce your carbon footprint.

Judy Sokal, Osprey

No excuses: End daylight saving time

On daylight saving time: The excuse that it is for the farmers is a lame one. The clocks don’t tell the cows what time to be milked. It doesn’t matter to them if the clock reads 6 or 7. They know what time it is.

It’s time to leave the clocks alone. Let the farmers adjust and let us all live with the sun.

Jane Oaks, Longboat Key

Suggesting solution to traffic congestion

Can’t something be done to ease the traffic in Manatee County from 53rd Street to State Road 70 to Lakewood Ranch? The trucks and trailers take up three lanes and it takes double the time to reach your destination.

I think that if trucks and trailers stayed in the right-hand lane, except to pass, traffic would flow more freely with no congestion.

Arlene Romdalvik, Bradenton