The President would be fully empowered to act in defense of the nation.
The framers agreed that the President would command the armed forces – with several explicit reservations.
The President was to have five main responsibilities.
Does voting make any difference? Is it worth the trouble? The answer depends upon you. If you and enough other people vote for someone who has pledged to represent your…
In general, constitutions are written by people who expect to live and work together for generations to come. It’s when enough people no longer feel this way that Constitutions are…
Clashes in Berkeley and Portland bring to mind an interesting story about two countries where people who felt frustrated with each other and their governments. Citizens in Columbia and Venezuela…
The U.S. Constitution provides for nearly universal adult access to the ballot. The pandemic is making that difficult. Most voting precincts had historically depended upon retirees to administer the system,…
Take this short civics course about trust, distrust, and the presidency.
Consider every citizen in this country to be an American, worthy of your support and help.
To improve trust in our police, fairness and accountability must be more evenly distributed along lines of race and ethnicity.
History shows that one of the shortest paths towards dictatorship is to get the people divided against each other.
We get to have leaders who are accountable to us, and we get to choose our leaders peacefully – but only if …
Thomas Jefferson said “Where the press is free and every man able to read, all is safe.” A free press is especially important in the coronavirus pandemic.
It is hard to fight the corona virus without a healthy liberal, republican democracy. Urgent attention is needed.
Liberal, republican democracy is precious for the freedom, peace, and better quality of life it can bring, but those benefits don’t come for free. Citizens need to do more to protect and strengthen their democracies – starting here at home.
Strongmen for scared people leads to failure. Democracies have the edge when it comes to health care. Read on.
Interest in voting by mail has increased – because of anxiety over catching the virus from fellow voters. It seems simple but there are important trade-offs to consider.
Emergency powers are sometimes necessary, but they should always be temporary, and only Congress should have the authority to renew them.
First, please take a look at the good advice from the CDC. Second, consider also how you might be able to help the people around you. Nextdoor.com and other social…
Decades ago, when this blogger was a boy, it used to be popular to say “I don’t agree with that, but I will defend to the death your right to…
Every government needs a civil service to get things done. Yet, hiring people into the civil service tempts politicians with some bad behaviors: could the new hires be selected for…
Change is easier when our elected representatives are working together to get something done. The good news in this context is that there is far more common ground for them to build on than you will hear from the media. You can remind them of that.
Things have changed between the time of the founding fathers and now. On the one hand, the USA now has an extremely well-armed military force, while most state and local governments have well-armed police forces, and all of those forces are under the control of elected civilian leaders. On the other hand, the USA has a far higher rate of gun deaths and mass shootings than most citizens are willing to accept. Whether and how things should be re-balanced are open questions suitable for respectful debate.
The US Constitution requires a census every 10 years. The census is mandatory because it affects the numbers of seats each state occupies in the U.S. House of Representatives. It…
We should all understand that very few of us would have a vote or a political voice if we collectively fail to defend constitutional and legal limits on political behavior.
Defending democracy is inherently difficult. Reminding ourselves why the job is so problematic helps point the way towards a more effective defense.
In a democracy, people need to trust that they will be treated fairly. They need to know they can vote like anyone else, that they will be treated just as well as anyone else, regardless of how they vote, and that elected officials will feel as accountable to them as anyone else.
What if those in power now could be given assurances that they could continue to compete politically all across the nation – if they end their dangerous tactics of retaliation and entrenchment – combined with assurances that today’s opposition will also swear off such tactics? Doing so would allow everyone to return to the business of getting better results for our country, for our children, and for our grandchildren. All that is required is that elected officials look out for the public interest instead of governing in pursuit of their self interest – and for each of us to insist they do so.
The religious tolerance and freedom that our founding fathers gave birth to is something to celebrate – and something each of us can uphold personally.
On Thanksgiving Day, let’s give thanks for all the people who make up our American democracy.