Ken Ciboski

Volunteer Editorial Commentator

Dr. Ken Ciboski is an associate professor emeritus of political science at Wichita State University.

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National security is the most important responsibility of the president as commander-in-chief. The president’s role is to protect the American people against external threats and to provide for the safety and security of the country. This requires attention to foreign policy and working with allies to keep dangerous foes at bay.

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An anonymous senior official of the Trump administration writes in a recent book titled A Warning that a psychological phenomenon is affecting a large portion of the country that some call “Trump Derangement Syndrome.” As the author says, if this were a clinical diagnosis, it would best be described as the disturbance in normal cognitive function resulting in irrational animus toward the president of the United States.

On September 5, 2018, the New York Times took an unusual step in publishing an essay anonymously by a senior Trump administration official. The writer provided insights into White House chaos and President Donald Trump’s impulsive behavior. This official has now published a book, also anonymously, with the title, A Warning.

National Archives

As the 2020 presidential election approaches, we should be mindful of the possibility of Supreme Court vacancies during the next several years. We should remember that presidents work to appoint individuals who represent their political philosophy. Also, we need to remember that the Constitution is what the United States Supreme Court says it is. Therefore, it is important to know how a newly appointed court justice views how the Constitution should be interpreted.

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In a discussion this past week about Wichita’s recent mayoral election, a state legislator commented that Wichita’s municipal elections are supposed to be non-partisan. Indeed, they are. Candidates for municipal offices in Wichita, and in many other cities across the country, do not run under a party label.

Despite this, there is the question of whether or not non-partisan elections really are non-partisan.

We are now in an election cycle with elections next week for municipal officeholders and school board members, and next year for president and Congress. How well are citizens prepared to play the role democracy assigns to them in making considered judgments when casting a vote?

Huge numbers of Americans think the United States is the greatest country in the world, or even that it is the best that has ever existed. That may or may not be the case, but we ought to ask: in comparison to what?

It is important for us to look at political and economic systems outside of our own. If we become too parochial, we tend to engage in ethnocentrism, the attitude that one’s own group, nation, or culture is superior to all others. At that point, there really is no need to consider any other system.

Some commenators characterized political happenings of the past week as "block buster" news as Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi announced an impeachment inquiry. Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution assigns to the House the power of impeachment. This was spurred by a whistleblower report about President Trump and the conversation he had this past August with the President of Ukraine. The report is that president Trump talked about U.S. aid to Ukraine and then discussed and encouraged bringing charges against Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, for their activities related to Ukraine.

Ciboski: Hierarchies

Sep 18, 2019

As the sociologist Max Weber observed, the fates of human beings are not equal. People differ in their states of health, wealth, and social status.

Those who are advantaged tend to view their position as legitimate and deserving, while those who are disadvantaged are often seen as being at fault for their condition, regardless of the reason. As Weber says, “That the purely accidental causes may be ever so obvious makes no difference.”

There has been some confusion over, or perhaps an intentional perversion of, the meaning of the “Black Lives Matter” movement in America.