To the editor:

I’m a full-time resident of Columbia County and, like you, a concerned citizen of this nation. I believe it’s time to eliminate the filibuster in Congress as it now exists. The current filibuster is too easy, allowing any Senator with a gripe or a monied backer to raise a hand and scuttle legislation you and I and most of the country approve of. Given the state of hostility in the Senate, requiring 60 votes on anything is, in effect, the kiss of death.

At the very least, the old style filibuster that required resolve and stamina should be reinstated. But why do we need it at all?

The filibuster has a shameful history, originating in the Jim Crow era. It was used to ensure that civil rights legislation was delayed, or squelched outright. The filibuster is a mechanism to block progress and tie the hands of Congress, creating real and tangible pain for the citizens they are supposed to represent. Let’s cut the rope and untie their hands. Allow them to do the job they were elected to do, and if they don’t act for us, we’ll know it. No longer should issues we care about, that affect us, that matter, be held hostage. The Senate has got to be able to function or we all suffer. One person’s cynicism should not and cannot be allowed to derail critical legislation. A synonym for minority rule is — look it up — authoritarianism, where the consent of the governed is thrown out the window. Surely, that’s not what you or I signed up for.

Louise Pillai

Copake

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