The Supreme Court yesterday overturned a campaign finance law that would have placed strict limits on the amounts of money candidates for public office could both raise and spend. The justices seem to think that the right of free speech of candidates and campaign contributors is hampered if they are restrained from buying a public office. They also seem to think that the legislature of Vermont, whose law they overturned was out of line to suggest such restraint.
I would like to propose an idea so novel that it has never been encountered during my lifetime: Let the people of the United States of America, which likes to call itself a democracy, hold a referendum on this and several other issues of national concern. It’s time for We the People to weigh in on all of these issues, and for our representatives in Washington to do what we tell them to do about them:
1. Roe v. Wade
2. The Death Penalty
3. Campaign Finance Reform
4. Universal Healthcare Coverage
5. U.S. Occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan
6. U.S. Use of Torture
Some of these issues consume ungodly amounts of public time and resources; others are simply issues that our lawmakers and executives cannot seem to bring themselves to settle. The people of the United States would be doing themselves and their lawmakers a huge favor to settle these issues for them, and it would move the country forward by light years to do so. It would also keep our government workers busy implementing the will of the people for about the next ten years.
Ann Weaver Hart is a political writer in Bryan, Texas, where she publishes the Handbasket Chronicles . An extended version of this article is available for purchase and republication by writing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.