Richard Elfers

Electoral College is for the good of all | Rich Elfers

Why did the founders of the Constitution create the Electoral College? Why did they create a body of elites (electors) who actually decide who the president of the United States will be? Why have we not passed a Constitutional Amendment to rid ourselves of such an archaic institution?

High numbers may vote Libertarian | Rich Elfers

“As Libertarians, we seek a world of liberty; a world in which all individuals are sovereign over their own lives and no one is forced to sacrifice his or her values for the benefit of others” (2016 Libertarian Party platform).

Don’t give into knee-jerk nationalism | Rich Elfers

Have you ever lived in another culture? I did when I decided to spend my senior year of college in England. I spent my summer of that year working with 49 other students from the U.S. and Western Europe on an archaeological dig on the southern and western end of the Temple Mount (Harim al-Sharif) in Jerusalem.

In sports, a socialist system prevails | Rich Elfers

Why is it that professional soccer in socialistic Europe is capitalistic, while in the U.S. all major league sports are monopolistic and socialistic?

Trump slogan relies on nostalgia, not reality | Rich Elfers

We have all heard Donald Trump's campaign slogan, "Make America Great Again." What does it mean? Not much, according to a "Straits Times" (Singapore) article by Jeremy Au Yong, entitled, "What Does 'Make America Great Again' Mean?" The slogan is vague enough to appeal to people differently, depending on the person and their age. It relates to nostalgia for a better time.

Same Sex Marriage Act before Supreme Court | Rich Elfers

You have probably seen signs in places of business that say, "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone." Those signs do not necessarily reflect current law in the state of Washington.

Humility is the key to dealing with conflict | Rich Elfers

"In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." This famous quote by Benjamin Franklin resonates more than 240 years after it was uttered. The irony of Old Ben's observation is that many people in our era act and speak with such certitude, especially in regard to religion and politics.

The shaping of America by geography | Rich Elfers

Americans are generally ignorant of how our geography has shaped our thinking and our nation. In our history, we have only had one major invasion – the War of 1812. We have weak neighbors to our north and south and vast oceans that buffer us from foreigners to our east and west.

Quest for power always bring conflict | Rich Elfers

A little more than a week ago we saw British citizens vote to leave the European Union, citing distrust of ruling elites in Brussels and a desire to retake lost national power.

European Union running out of time | Rich Elfers

To commemorate the World War I Battle of Verdun, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande met recently at the battle site to remember and honor the deaths of 300,000 German and French soldiers in that 10-month battle.

Equality vs. Equity: Black lives matter | Richard Elfers

Do you know the difference between equality and equity?

America’s self-doubt through history | Rich Elfers

"There is something in the American soul that wants to believe that it is facing disaster, that it has failed, that some corruption deep in its being will steal its success. I suspect that this has something to do with the familial recollections of immigrants."

Cultural change in schools, high price|Richard Elfers

President Barack Obama recently sent a directive to public schools around the country to let students use restrooms according to their gender identities. While this directive is not legally binding, the threat of potential civil rights lawsuits and loss of federal funding for Title IX looms large.

Putting future politics into perspective | Rich Elfers

The presidential primary season has seen an earthquake of shifting alignments for both political parties, something few if any predicted six months ago. According to Michael Lind, writing an article for "Politico Magazine" entitled, "This Is What the Future of American Politics Looks Like," the political changes we have seen are really the end of the process, not the beginning.

History of primaries and who votes | Rich Elfers

Donald Trump's unpopularity numbers hover around 60 percent. Hillary Clinton's are between 50 and 55 percent. How did we get into a situation where most voters will be required to elect the least unpopular candidate this November? The answer lies in history and human nature.

Most aren’t sure where the power sits | Rich Elfers

What do voters want to know about the November elections? This was my question to a retired political science teacher friend recently (I will be teaching a Green River College continuing education course on the 2016 elections next week and was looking for ideas). His response was, “What do voters need to know about what the Constitution actually says about the powers of the president and Congress?”

Pick your preferred bully, then vote | Rich Elfers

"That government is best which governs least." These words of Thomas Jefferson are the hallmark of current conservatives toward the size of government. Big government is the bane of all hardworking Americans because money is taken from the productive and given to the unproductive. There are too many government regulations, which hinder freedom and raise costs because of expensive rules and regulations.

True listening brings understanding | Rich Elfers

"Students don't care how much you know until they know how much you care." These words were my mantra over the last seven of my 31 years teaching high school social studies at Sumner. I know a lot about many fields because of my constant reading and thinking, but that isn't enough to have an impact upon cynical and suspicious high school students who won't listen or cooperate if they don't like you.

Bridge provides a lesson from the past | Rich Elfers

As of last Friday evening, Enumclaw was cut off from Buckley, Bonney Lake and Sumner by the White River Bridge closure. What was once a 10-minute drive has now increased to 45.

Friends, enemies and political memories | Rich Elfers

“Friends come and go, but enemies are forever.” This was a comment from a small-town mayor who had been involved in politics for almost 20 years. His statement is also true on the national level based upon an editorial from Theunis Bates, managing editor of “The Week,” in the March 25, 2016, edition.