A 2010 Supreme Court decision – Citizens United – opened the door for unlimited spending by individuals on behalf of political candidates. Should we take steps to reduce the influence of money on our presidential elections? We could do this either by limiting the amount of money candidates can spend directly, by limiting direct contributions, or even taking steps to limit spending on behalf of a candidate (something that would require a constitutional amendment).
Discussion #2 – Who was our best president?
Share with your group your idea about who was the most effective or best president and why. The idea is to identify something specific that a president accomplished, explain why that translates into effectiveness or success, and reflect on what types of circumstances might be lead to a more or less successful administration. Who do you think was the most effective or best U.S. president? What specific accomplishments or outcomes led you to this conclusion?What types of circumstances (things outside of the control of the president or under control of the president) might have helped to bring about these outcomes?What personal traits or characteristics (charisma, persistence, energy, experience, negotiating skills) might have been important for the success of this president?
Discussion #3 Do presidents need more power?
President Biden is confronted with a number of serious challenges – problems maintaining border security, disruptions to the supply chain and rising prices, a public health crisis, and a long-running trade dispute with China. Do contemporary presidents need more formal power in order to be effective? (For background, see “The Power of Persuasion”