Taxpayer-funded millionaire Paul Krugman is known for his endless supply of hot takes, as well as his profound sense of self and perpetual outrage. In his latest column for the New York Times, Krugman writes about the same topic all other liberal pundits are writing about: How conservative climate change denial is destroying America. (Tuesday’s Washington Post, for example, includes two separate columns on how the GOP is “Dangerously in denial,” and “Too stubborn for change.”)
The New York Times dropped the news over the weekend that French people don’t want to pass their own version of the Patriot Act, despite recent terrorist attacks and a rising terror threat. The Times says that the French see the Patriot Act as a “fearful overreaction to 9/11″ and don’t want to make the same mistake.
Talk about a dramatic entrance. When the St. Louis Rams took the field last Sunday, several teammates raised their hands, palms out. It was an act of solidarity with Michael Brown, the unarmed black teenager killed last August in a struggle with a white police officer. Moments before his demise, it is said, Brown raised his hands and pleaded: “Don’t shoot.”
There is just one problem: It is not clear that Brown put his hands up.
The New York Times editorial board supports comprehensive immigration reform that would give millions of illegal immigrants a path to citizenship. In the meantime, the Times’ editors want President Obama to take “big and bold” action on his own that would effectively legalize millions of unauthorized immigrants.
But while the Times does not appear to have a problem with illegal immigration, its editors have found at least one form of legal immigration they want to stop. In an editorial published on Sunday, the board lamented the “Cuban brain drain” brought on by U.S. immigration policy. Specifically, they want to do away with a program allowing highly trained Cuban doctors to defect to the United States while serving on medical missions abroad:
In 2012, more than 125 million Americans cast ballots in an election that only served to create greater partisan divisions, increase gridlock and generally make the President Obama’s life more difficult. His forward-looking agenda continues to take a back seat to petty grievances. One hundred and twenty-five million may sound like a lot, but that’s still less than 40 percent of the population of the United States, and less than one-tenth the population of China. Voter turnout was even lower than it was during the historic 2008 election, despite the fact that outside spenders spent nearly three times as much on partisan attack ads.
There was a time when presidential elections made sense—at our nation’s founding, everyone agreed that George Washington should be president, so he ran unopposed and was elected unanimously. Most people agree that he was on of the greatest presidents of all time. After that, politicians started running for president against each other, thus forever burdening the American people with a decision that many would rather someone else make on their behalf. Centuries later, presidential elections no longer make any sense.
Presidential elections, like midterm elections, aren’t just unnecessary; they’re harmful to American politics. We should get rid of them entirely.