Big Ideas – Part 1

June 7, 2005

Kevin Drum of Washington Monthly hosts an interesting discussion on big ideas for addressing civil rights:

a question for you. I am going to choose a series of broad subjects and
ask my readers what single thing they would like to see done about
them. Today’s subject is….civil rights.

You may interpret that broadly to mean race issues of any kind. So
here is my question: if you could pass any single piece of federal
legislation related to civil rights, what would it be? Think big!
Assume we have a liberal president and big liberal majorities in
Congress. Don’t worry overmuch about the Supreme Court. The only real
rule is that you only get to choose one thing.

What would it be?

Lots of good (and bad, in my opinion) answers in the comments. For my part, if we are only talking about race, my one big idea would be to improve educational opportunities at the K-12 level for all students through school choice legislation that allows for charter schools, vouchers, etc. I actually think that this would be best implemented through the states in order to allow for the maximum amount of innovation, but Drum specified federal legislation, so I’ll follow the rules.

I also agree quite a bit with several of the ideas suggested in the comments, including allowing felons to vote after they’ve served their time and changing the way we fight the "War on Drugs." If you have thoughts, feel free to provide them here or at Washington Monthly. I chose to provide mine here because I’m not Drum’s target audience (I certainly don’t think that my idea is more likely to become law with "a liberal president and big liberal majorities in Congress.").

Drum plans more of these in future days, so check back at his site for more.


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