Rational discussion sadly throttled

Published 11:17 pm Tuesday, October 15, 2013

To the editor:

Please allow me to share two of the thoughts that have occurred to me during the budget confrontation.

First, rational discussion has been throttled because congressional district boundaries have been so skewed that the majority of the American people, as a voting group, have been marginalized.

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The consequence is that democracy, at least as I understand the concept, has been replaced by the dominance of marginal positions, taken by both parties that are unassailable through the ballot box.

How about setting congressional districts by a process completely disconnected from the reach of Congress; say, for the sake of a starting point, school districts?

The idea is to create true competition for ideas and philosophies. While my suggestion probably reveals my political naïveté, it might serve as a starting point for discussion.

Second, what if the president put his national health plan on the table for discussion … with two non-negotiable beginning arguments. First, there will be a national health plan. Second, any health plan to which both parties agree will be mirrored exactly by the health plan for Congress.

– Chris ter Kuile, Tryon