Bill Clinton (1993-2000) openly used his in-house pollsters to gauge the public’s opinion on various policy issues. Sometimes he would wait to take a position until the poll numbers were in. Americans overwhelmingly hated him for this. They felt that they elected Clinton to make decisions for them. George W. Bush (2001-2008) appeared to never listen to the public. Americans overwhelmingly hated him for this. They felt that the president should listen to the American people before making policy decisions. Considering this anecdote, how much should politicians–presidents or members of Congress–heed public opinion?
American campaign finance has been an issue since the 1920s; however, it was not until Watergate in the 1970s that any meaningful legislation was crafted to regulate campaign spending. With this said, campaign finance is still an on-going concern in America. In 2014, the New York Times asked some individuals to propose some changes to the system. Considering some of their proposals (they’re about a page each) and using your own critical thinking skills, tell the class how you think America can deal with the campaign spending issue.