We can do more than hope that Americans remember who defended democracy, which was the central prediction of the Nov. 23 editorial “Democracy’s defenders.” President Trump abused executive power beyond any of our previous imaginings. And he has exposed weaknesses in our system. Congress can fix some of these. It should be Congress’s first priority to prevent a future president from abusing that power. 

Mr. Trump fired inspectors general who were investigating his administration. Inspectors general should be independent and free to investigate. Instead of allowing them to be fired at will by the president, Congress should provide that they should be appointed to terms and can’t be removed while performing with good behavior.

Mr. Trump avoided his constitutional duty to obtain Senate confirmation of high-level officials by appointing temporary officials. Congress should modify the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, shortening the time allowed for acting officials from 210 days and stating that their terms automatically expire. Congress should broaden the act and clarify it to make it harder for future presidents to avoid it.

Mr. Trump exposed the vulnerability of the transition to a new administration by refusing to concede the election. Congress should shorten the time frame for ascertainment and provide more protection to the head of the General Services Administration.

Andrew J. Kennedy,

Monroeville, Pa.

Regarding the Nov. 24 front-page article “Trump relents, lets transition proceed”:

President Trump, all of his pathetic power-play legal moves exhausted more than three weeks after what is now a resounding election loss, has finally consented to allowing the Biden transition to begin. 

The decision to move the transition forward validates President-elect Joe Biden’s patience and his decision not to seek legal action. He has the wisdom and temperament to be president. 

Allowing the transition to proceed will save countless thousands of American lives, as the transition team will have full access to the Warp Speed vaccine plans that have given us a way forward to combat the deadly coronavirus and allow for the speedy and safe dissemination of the vaccines as soon as the middle or end of December. 

I give Mr. Trump credit for the development of the vaccines and for showing that he has at least a shred of decency.

Henry A. Lowenstein, Newport, R.I.

The Nov. 24 front-page article “Trump relents, lets transition proceed” reported that President Trump finally gave in on providing President-elect Joe Biden with transition necessities because of increasing criticism of  “his chaotic legal strategy, his failure to produce evidence of widespread voter fraud and his reliance on misinformation and debunked conspiracy theories.”

Indeed. Mr. Trump continues to exploit our pre-Flintstones system for casting and counting votes. The fix couldn’t be clearer, nor any less likely to happen. Among other initiatives, there should be automatic voter registration when people interact with government agencies. Make early voting easier, and don’t permit trap doors, such as was done in Pennsylvania and elsewhere this cycle to keep votes cast before Election Day from being counted until Election Day. The architects of that strategy knew that the sacks of early votes would trend to Mr. Biden, so they could create an illusion of victory being undone by fraud.

Tidying up our voting procedures and encouraging full participation of the citizenry in selecting leaders would be good things. Republicans will argue that automatic voter registration and other efforts would be ripe for abuse and fraud, but they’re really just trying to keep the system inefficient so they can exploit its workings. That’s how we got three weeks of transition fraud.

Terry Carter, Alexandria

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and others have threatened to not approve Cabinet members for President-elect Joe Biden. Mr. Cotton said what is good for the goose is good for the gander. President Trump chose to ignore the approval process, appointing “acting” members. Republicans need to remember that their approval is not needed if a President Biden chooses to appoint acting members. How about a little cooperation to help our democracy?

Gerald CampbellAnnapolis

As I looked at the photograph that accompanied the Nov. 24 news article “With Kerry as envoy, Biden to prioritize climate change,” I was struck by how attentively President-elect Joe Biden was listening to former secretary of state John F. Kerry. How wonderful — and refreshing — that we will have a president who actually listens to others.

Gina Caceci, Falls Church