PROF. RICHARD G. BENEFIELD
NOTE: Articles 20 through 25 were originally published in different newspapers. So were some previous articles. Some have been updated or corrected as the situation dictated. They were published over the period of a few years.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), of which I am a member, opposed the confirmation of Judge Clarence Thomas to the U.S. Supreme Court. Some of his views on civil rights were real issues which motivated this opposition. Thomas might never have been confirmed during the Senate hearings if not for the national emotion over the event. The original issues were lost in the emotional jungle. All citizens lost a champion of civil rights when Justice Thurgood Marshall had to quit the court. He may never be replaced.
Presidential elections are also often won on emotional issues, but when an election is over the whole nation is stuck with the major issue of money, that is, the economy. When the Presidential election is over in 1992, and when all the emotion ceases to be news, then the nation will awaken again to this real major issue, and again be stuck, as it is now and after each election, with the economy. The political administration which is in Washington, D.C., controls the purse strings and controls the economy. In the parlance of economics both Monetarists and Keynesians have come around to this idea.
At least three things in our governmental system should be changed,
not “fixed up” or “doctored.” These follow:
A U.S. Supreme Court Justice should not be confirmed to the court for life. On the contrary, people who want the job should be elected every four years. All but two Republicans voted for Clarence Thomas. Most Democrats voted against him. Although it isn’t supposed to be, it is a partisan political job, and candidates for the office should be forced to run for it, after an amendment of the U.S. Constitution. That would change the system and make it better, and end much of the hypocrisy.
Another amendment of the Constitution should end our electoral college system. The President is the only person in our national government system which we don’t directly elect to office. The American Bar Association once called for such an amendment. This means “one person one vote,” and the majority of the votes would elect the President. This might help increase the number of voter participation, and might help a person win the Presidency without getting only a small percentage of the total registered U.S. voters.
All national elections should be financed by the government, not by individual contributions. Political Action Committees (PACs), and other interest groups, such as happens today with both our major political parties. Voters, not dollars, should decide elections.
Now these are three real issues, not emotional spiels. But don’t try
to fast until either one comes to pass.
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