(’76 Contributor) As a political scientist I was trained to go to the root of issues, to trace the origins of events to the distant past and to reflect on the quality of government by reference to types of regimes. Frequent elections, conducted from the highest to the lowest level of government, enables public opinion to express itself, correct previous errors or reward elected officials for competent or incorruptible service. Though there are times in American politics—like today—when popular uprisings occur that aim to throw out the “bums,” for the most part the American electorate—those who register to vote and actually vote in elections—is satisfied to re-elect incumbents. Over time these same incumbents tend to represent special interests, not the public interest, and they remain in office well past normal retirement age.
(’76 Contributor) According to a Denver Post story on Nov. 22, “The reduced stimulus money means that the general fund appropriation for higher education will have to increase to $555 million, the same amount the state provided in 2005-06 and the point below which the state can’t cut funding and still receive stimulus funds.” Which should remind us of some pithy phrases reflecting the common sense that the American people have learned from experience—not books in gilded classrooms at expensive public colleges and universities.