Ken Ciboski

Political Commentator

Dr. Ken Ciboski is an Associate Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Wichita State University.

We know from history that extremist demagogues emerge at times in all societies, even in healthy democracies. We have had our share of them in the United States. Among them are Henry Ford, Senators Huey Long and Joseph McCarthy, and George Wallace, the segregationist governor of Alabama who was a leading contender for the 1972 Democratic nomination for president before he was severely wounded in an assassination attempt.

U.S. Census Bureau

The country is preparing to conduct the 2020 census. Since 1790, every 10 years the Constitution has required a count of all people living in the United States. We should be aware of the importance of the census for many reasons. 

The release of the Mueller report and former FBI director James Comey’s assertion that President Donald Trump pressured him to drop an investigation into former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn’s activities has prompted the president’s critics to consider that the president’s actions may fall into the area of obstruction of justice. Some House of Representatives members say these are grounds for impeachment.

There are now 20 Democratic candidates for president in 2020. Six are United States senators. One is the former governor of Colorado, and one is the current governor of Washington state. Two are mayors—one of South Bend, Indiana; the other from Miramar, Florida. We now have Joe Biden, who served as vice president under Obama and was previously a senator from Delaware. Add to this list two others—one who says she is a spiritual leader and author, and another who says he is an entrepreneur.

Ciboski: On Politics

Apr 17, 2019

How often do you hear people say they hate politics, and that politics is a “dirty business?” 

Liberal democracy around the world is under its greatest challenge since the depression years of the 1930s.

Winston Churchill is reputed to have said the best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter. This sums up what is needed to have democracy work as it should, which is that those who are making the decisions—the voters—need to be more involved and know what is happening. So how can we improve our system of self-government?

Many Americans do not realize just how much the office of the President has evolved to become a major and complex pillar of power. 

In a recent commentary, I mentioned that long-time adviser to presidents Joe Califano cited the gerrymander, which is the drawing of political boundaries for Congressional districts to give a political party a numerical advantage in an election, as the pre-eminent cause of "congressional crippling or the inability of Congress to accomplish certain legislative goals and also to serve as an effective check on presidential power."

LBJ Library / photo by Yoichi Okamoto

As the 2020 elections approach, we should ask ourselves what kinds of leaders we want.

Democrat Laura Kelly is now governor. The Republicans still control both houses of the legislature. Now, the question is whether or not she can accomplish major policy goals such as funding K-12 education, introducing expanded Medicaid, and funding other pressing program needs without a tax increase.

Pages