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November 11, 2010


Felix H. Thomann

I am always reading your articles with great interest, and I could imagine that, in connection with your most recent one, the attached interview of the leading Swiss daily Neue Zuercher Zeitung with President Jimmy Carter may be of interest because he says that the U.S. can get better information about what happens to the Palestinians by reading the Israeli newspapers than by perusing the U.S. media!

We have of course followed the mid-term election news closely, and I share your concern about some of the candidates who have been successful. The problem seems to be that many of these people who appear to be good citizens are being (ab)used by big money interests to further their goals.

I have been thinking about these questions after having read Fareed Zakaria's book "The Future of Freedom", and I came up with the - admittedly heretical - idea that part of the problems could be solved if two things happened:

- Elections to the House of Representatives should be held not every second, but only every fourth year.

- Political advertising via TV and radio should be forbidden or at least severely restricted (as it is in most European countries).

If the first point were realized, Congress would not be in a perpetual election campaign, but could do more serious work.

Realization of the second point would put a stop to or at least limit the insane permanent fund-raising which has come to characterize U.S election campaigns over the years.

I am of course aware that my ideas are illusory: The first one would involve amending the U.S. Constitution which is much easier said than done; the second one would be met by the heaviest artillery we have ever seen - the holy cow of first amendment protection would be trotted out in order to hide the fact that too much media revenue and too many fat fees would be endangered.

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