Letter to the Editor

Illegitimate nominees

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Dear Editor,

If a law were passed deliberately proclaiming that an elite group of only 16 percent of Nebraskans would be allowed to name the probable next Governor and U.S. Senator, one would hope there would be a furious rejection of that law.

Yet that is exactly what happened on Tuesday. Nebraska Election law allowed a minority within a minority to determine the people most likely to become its next Governor and U.S. Senator.

I have no objection to who won, but how a candidate wins should be every bit as important as whether that candidate wins. Otherwise, how can we have any confidence that these select few will nominate someone who really represents the majority view of their party?

According to the Nebraska Secretary of State's office, 553,046 voters are registered Republicans. This is 48 percent of all registered voters and 39 percent of the 1,401,387 Nebraskans 18 or over. At best, about 40 percent of those registered Republicans voted to determine who their nominees would be on the ballot in November. Because Nebraska election law does not require Republicans to decide a majority winner, the nominee for Governor was determined by only 26.48 percent of those who voted, nowhere near a majority. This is 10.5 percent of Registered Republicans and 4.1 percent of Nebraskans 18 or over. That means that a mere 57,922 Nebraskans effectively decided who would represent all 1,401,387 Nebraskans 18 or over. The Attorney General race had similar ratios and so would the Senate race if Osborn had not collapsed as a candidate.

Government policy should be determined by the will of the majority, and that will has been thwarted. Currently, the will of the majority is being left undetermined. A strong argument could be made that those candidates nominated by less than a majority are illegitimate nominees.

I urge all Nebraskans to contact their State Legislators and demand our flawed system be replaced by election requirements that ensure political parties nominate majority winners, not plurality winners.

Larry R. Bradley

Omaha, Nebraska

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    Perhaps if those concerned parties, who are 18 years of age and "registered" to vote, pulled themselves away from the television and whatever sport fanaticism presently holds their attention, then they might find the time to get up off their apathetic duffs and go attend to a far more important duty - such as voting for their leaders!

    To be blunt, do not complain about who you get as your next public servant, if you do not care enough to participate in the process. The fault lies squarely upon those who refuse to get involved.

    It matters not how Nebraska's election laws are written. That is a red herring. What matters is whether the residents of this state, who are free to use the franchise, are intelligent enough to use it.

    Unfortunately, from what I have seen in my 9 years living here - a great many of you would drive 300 miles to attend a Husker game, but will not drive two blocks to cast your vote for those whom may have the greatest impact on your lives.

    You want to gripe about a "minority" picking your next governor, federal senator, etc ... the 16 percent whom actually gave a **** enough to vote? Wrong. Gripe about the apathetic "majority" whose obvious and only desire in life is "bread and circuses" - because football is their god, and political competition is of no consequence in their narrow world view.

    -- Posted by Bruce Desautels on Thu, May 22, 2014, at 10:46 PM
  • " bread and circuses" ??

    -- Posted by bob s on Fri, May 23, 2014, at 1:45 PM
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    Bread and circuses is an expression that dates back to ancient Rome, when the people demanded of their leaders nothing but free food, i.e. welfare ("bread")and constant entertainment (gladiator combat and other exhibitions of an exotic or gore-filled nature - hence "circuses") not caring about the decline of their famed republic.

    The expression is a pejorative dig at those who care nothing about the state of their nation, just as long as their carnal appetites are kept satiated. It is the hallmark of a nation whose culture is in a steep decline.

    -- Posted by Bruce Desautels on Fri, May 23, 2014, at 3:56 PM
  • Liberty is not defined as the majority ruling over the minority. That would be Democracy. And since we pledge our allegiance to the Republic of the United states of America, I see no problem with the rights of minorities being protected constitutionally from the mob known as the majority. To demand that a single candidate obtain a majority of the vote before obtaining office is perfectly fine. To demand that a candidate obtain a majority of the vote to simply have his name placed on the final ballot seems absolutely "bread and circuses" to me.

    -- Posted by shallal on Thu, May 29, 2014, at 1:31 PM
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