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Rights and Wrongs of American Elections

Here are some previous Think Tank programs that may be of interest.

The Future of the Constitution, Part One  (aired 7/6/2006)
The Constitution is America’s framework for government. It has survived over two centuries with only a few amendments. But despite its apparent simplicity, interpreting the Constitution is difficult. Although Americans have a strong libertarian identity, they also support big government programs that the Founders never dreamed of. Should the original intent of the Founders be what matters most when interpreting the Constitution? Or can it be a living document interpreted in new ways as America changes?

John Rawls  (aired 3/9/2006)
Harvard University Professor John Rawls, who died in 2002, has been called the most influential political philosopher of the twentieth century - certainly for Democrats. His 1971 book, "A Theory of Justice," touched off a debate over individual rights versus the broader society. Should governments help level the playing field for those least advantaged? Was Rawls too radical? Or not radical enough?

Congressional Corruption Cancer  (aired 1/26/2006)
Scandal is in the air in Washington, DC, and the name of one man is leading the headline parade -- Jack Abramoff. He has touched off a firestorm of investigation. Legal terms like subpoenas, charging papers, plea bargains, indictments, and perp walks are giving America a crash course in corruption. Congressional elections are less than a year away. Will the voters throw the rascals out? And who are the rascals? Is corruption here to stay?

Corruption, Then and Now  (aired 1/19/2006)
Bribery, graft, extortion, cronyism, money laundering. Political corruption has a lot of names but whatever it’s called there seems to be more of it than ever. American political scandals pre-date the founding of the country, but has their essential character changed? Will politics always be tainted by money or can we help clean it up by looking at America’s own history?

Politics, 2006  (aired 12/15/2005)
In 2004 Republicans held on to the White House and gained in both houses of Congress, but now public opinion of Republicans has plummeted. The 2006 elections are approaching. With several state governorships and a some key congressional races at stake, will the Democrats be able make headway against the GOP, perhaps even capturing the Congress? Or is it just too early to read the tea leaves?


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