Someone on Facebook recently asked a very interesting question, which was apparently asked at the third party presidential debate: If you could make one amendment to the Constitution, what would it be? Let me offer a couple of different possibilities.
Option one: Replace the 9th Amendment with one that is much more explicit, by enshrining strict scrutiny into the constitution as the sole judicial standard for all enumerated and unenumerated rights. That would mean that the individual is presume to have the right to take any action until and unless the government can show a compelling state interest in preventing them from doing it and that they have adopted the least restrictive means of doing so. This would certainly maximize individual liberty.
Option two: Public financing of campaigns along with specific prohibitions on contributions and the purchase of campaign commercials. I could see this working a number of different ways, but it would probably have to be written fairly broadly. For example, each candidate that gets 5% of the registered voters in the relevant area (district, for state and federal representatives; states, for senators and governors; the whole nation for presidents), they qualify for public financing. All qualified candidates get equal financing and every TV and radio station (those that use public airwaves) within the relevant districts must provide a certain amount of time to the candidates to debate the issues in the few months before a vote.
The fact is that the influence of vast amounts of money in our political system is what is preventing us from solving most of our other problems. It’s what forces legislators to care more about whether a bill or amendment benefits their wealthiest contributors rather than whether it benefits the country as a whole. And until we solve that problem, we’ll continue to have most others.
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