by Reason McLucus
“Donna, Mary Queen is about to start,” Alex said.
“Who’s she interviewing tonight?” Donna asked.
“You’re favorite politician, Governor Elizabeth McEden,” Alex replied
“Be right there,” Donna said.
Mary Queen: “Good evening, our special guest tonight is California Governor Elizabeth McEden. Welcome to the program, Governor McEden.”
Liz McEden: “Thank you for inviting me, Mary.”
Queen: “Governor, isn’t it almost the fourth anniversary of your election as governor to replace Gov. David Grayson?”
McEden: “That’s right, Mary. It’ll be four years in May.”
Queen: “You gave up your acting career to run for governor against established politicians Why did you run as an independent?”
McEden: “I lost interest in the major parties years ago. I had supported Perry Rossman when he ran for president in 1992. When the recall came up, I thought the governor needed to be replaced, but wasn’t impressed by his opponents. I decided to join the legion of candidates because I thought I could make a difference. I wasn’t in sufficient agreement with either of the major parties to be comfortable running as if I were a member of it.”
Queen: “You have taken positions on issues that are different from the positions the major parties have taken. You’ve proposed several new programs, including a major tax overhaul. Now, you’re claiming that homosexual marriages actually violate the Constitution. Does that mean you don’t think a constitutional amendment is necessary to prevent them?”
McEden: “That’s right, Mary. Although, I don’t oppose an amendment, I don’t think one is necessary. The ‘equal protection’ clause of the current Constitution can be interpreted as prohibiting homosexual marriages”
Queen: “You’ve suggested that Congress can interpret the Constitution to mean that. But, isn’t interpreting the Constitution the job of the Supreme Court?”
McEden: “That’s what I used to think. I’ve since discovered that the Constitution doesn’t explicitly give the Court any such power. Chief Justice John Marshall said in the case of Marbury v. Madison that Court ability to interpret the Constitution comes from the oath Supreme Court justices take to support and defend the Constitution. The President and members of Congress take the same oath. Thus, they must have the same power to interpret the Constitution. I’ve studied government since becoming governor. The early presidents thought the only justification for using the veto power was that they thought the proposed law was unconstitutional.”
Queen: “We’ll be right back with our special guest Governor Liz
McEden after these messages.”
“I’m going to the kitchen for a piece of blueberry pie,” Alex said. “Can I get you anything?”
“I’d like a diet coke,” Donna replied.. “Is pie on your low carb diet?”
“Blueberries are supposed to help prevent cancer,” Alex answered.
Queen: “We’re back with our special guest California Governor Elizabeth McEden. Governor, before the break we were talking about your claim that homosexual marriages violate the Constitution. Those who support homosexual marriages claim limiting marriage to heterosexuals in unconstitutional. Why do you believe that homosexual marriages are unconstitutional?”
McEden: “The Constitution requires government to treat people equally. Government cannot provide special benefits to some people unless such discrimination serves some substantial state interest. Government provides benefits to married people that aren’t provided to single people. Government cannot do that unless marriage serves some state interest. Heterosexuals who marry are more likely to produce future workers for society than are single people. Even with modern birth control, accidents sometimes happen. Homosexuals wouldn’t be more likely to produce children if they married.”
Queen: “But, lesbians can become pregnant, can’t they? Both men and women can adopt.”
McEden: “One woman moving in with another woman isn’t going to cause either to become pregnant. Each would have to go outside the relationship to have a child. Thus, the relationship isn’t necessary and government cannot justify providing benefits to homosexuals who marry.”
Queen: “Governor, I believe you’ve said you’re concerned about the way San Francisco has handled the homosexual marriage issue.”
McEden: “That’s right, Mary. I don’t like the idea of lower level government officials deciding they can ignore state law. I remember back in the 1960's when southern governors decided they could ignore, or nullify, federal anti-discrimination actions. If current marriage laws are to be changed, it must be done by the state legislature or the California Supreme Court. We cannot maintain the rule of law and allow individual cities to pick which laws they want to obey.”
Queen: “More from Governor McEden and your calls after this break.”
“I can see why you’re impressed by Governor McEden, Alex commented. “She’s a lot different then she was in her old sitcoms.”
“Those were just parts she played,” Donna said. “What do you think about her comments on homosexual marriages?”
“Makes a lot of sense to me,” Alex said
“Why do people become homosexuals?” Donna asked
“I don’t have time to figure out why people behave the way they
do,” Alex said. “I only know how to treat their physical ailments.”
Queen: “We’re back with tonight’s special guest, California Governor Elizabeth McEden. We have a call. Perry in Dallas what's your question for Governor McEden?"
Perry: "Governor McEden, if the American people wanted you to run for President of the United States, would you consider running?"
McEden: "Is this Perry Rossman?"
Perry: "That's right."
McEden: "Why don’t you run again?"
Perry: "I had my chance. We need someone like you who has more political experience to run."
McEden: "Well, I guess if the American people are willing to place my name on the ballot in all of the states, I'll run for president."
Queen: "We have another call. Joe in New York City what's your question for Governor McEden?"
Joe: "Governor McEden, you have my support if you run for president. What do you consider the biggest problem with government?
McEden: "The inability of our politicians to understand the nature of government in our democracy. Government isn't supposed to be some organization that gives us things or controls our lives. In the United States, government is 'us'. Government is the way we combine our resources and our efforts to pursue common goals. We use government to do things together."
Queen: "Does this idea differ from what the major parties believe?"
McEden: "The Democratic Party suffers from the attitude that government is some type of benevolent entity that provides for our needs. Republicans believe government is incapable of doing anything and its functions should be turned over to profit making businesses. I believe we can work together through government to solve many of our problems."
Queen: "Governor, you have a reputation for sounding very positive about solving problems."
McEden: "I guess so. Politicians in the major parties are often too negative. Vice President Spiro Agnew once complained about the 'nagging nabobs of negativism.' The situation has gotten worse. Democrats seem to always be running around claiming the sky is falling. According to them, we're all about to die from the greenhouse effect or ozone depletion or something. Republicans are always claiming that government can't do anything, and we ought to turn over all our problems to the private sector.
McEden: "I believe if there is something wrong with the environment, we should try to correct it. I also believe we can use government to solve problems if we all pitch in and work together instead of waiting for government to solve our problems for us."
Queen: "We have another call. Marie in San Diego, what's your question for Governor McEden.?"
Marie: "Governor McEden, I don't understand this new abortion law you want the legislature to pass. Are you pro-life or pro-choice?"
McEden: "The law I want would allow a woman to choose whether or not she wants to remain pregnant, but wouldn't automatically allow her to decide whether her offspring would live or die. Basically the law affects abortions where the offspring is old enough to survive outside the mother. The doctor would have to use a procedure that preserved the child's life. The child would then become a ward of the state and be placed for adoption."
Queen: "Who would pay for treatment of these premature babies?"
McEden: "The state would guarantee payment, but I've talked to people who oppose abortion as well as people who want to adopt babies and I believe we can obtain private funding for these expenses. If the people who want to adopt a specific baby cannot afford to cover the entire cost of treating their baby, a nonprofit group might make up the difference."
Queen: "How are the pro-life and pro-choice groups responding to your proposal?"
McEden: "So far both groups oppose it. The pro-life group claims the proposal would still allow abortions. The pro-choice group claims it would discourage abortions."
Queen: "Do their attitudes surprise you?"
McEden: "Not really, but my compromise does attempt to help both groups achieve their goals. It would allow a woman to decide whether or not to continue her pregnancy, which is what the pro-choice group claims to want. It would preserve the life of the child, which is what the pro-life group claims to want."
Queen: "More calls after these messages."
"Alex, what do you think about her position on abortion?" Donna asked.
"I'm too committed to saving babies's lives to be willing to perform an abortion unless absolutely necessary," Alex replied.
"However, I would be willing to deliberately deliver a premature baby for a woman who would otherwise seek an abortion."
"Doesn't a premature delivery hurt the baby's chance for survival?" Donna asked.
"The risks are certainly greater in most cases," Alex replied. "But, I would rather take the risk of delivering a premature baby than allow the mother to kill it. Besides, we are saving more and more of these babies every day."
Queen: “We’re back with tonight’s special guest, California Governor Elizabeth McEden. We have a call. Dana in Berkeley, what’s your question for Governor McEden?”
Dana: “Governor I want to thank you for supporting the Student Bill of Rights.”
McEden: “You’re welcome,. Dana. College students are old enough to vote. They should be free to develop their own political opinions and not have them dictated by their professors.”
Queen: “What exactly is the Student Bill of Rights?”
McEden: “It’s a law that protects college students from being forced to agree with the opinions of their professors about political and social issues. Students should have access to books and other materials that reflect a variety of different points of view. Colleges should attempt to hire professors who have a variety of different opinions rather than hiring only those who agree with one specific opinion.”
Queen: “Wouldn’t that interfere with the freedom of professors?”
McEden: “Professors at state universities are government officials and shouldn’t be allowed to in any way coerce students into accepting their opinions. We cannot continue to function as a democracy if government employees can force students to accept a specific point of view.”
Queen: “What if the professors who agree are right?”
McEden: “What if they are wrong? John Kenneth Galbraith talked about the ‘conventional wisdom’; generally accepted ideas that sometimes turned out to be wrong. If professors are right they shouldn’t need to require others to agree with them. If they cannot provide convincing arguments, they may be wrong.”
Queen: “Johnny in Los Angeles, what's your question for Governor McEden?"
Johnny: "Governor, do you believe equal justice under the law is possible in California or the rest of the United States?"
Queen: "Good question."
McEden: "No, we cannot have equal justice under the law as long as the courts for all practical purposes make up the law as they go along. For example, here in California individual judges have the option of whether or not they will allow the prosecution to use DNA evidence in criminal trials and under what circumstances they can use it. Obviously a defendant has a better chance of being acquitted if the judge limits what evidence the prosecution can use. A defendant who can afford an attorney who can persuade the judge to limit the prosecution also has a better chance of being acquitted."
Queen: "Are you saying judges are too independent?"
McEden: "Yes, Mary, the Fourteenth Amendment requires the states to guarantee everyone equal protection of the laws. How can we guarantee 'equal protection' when every judge in the state can set his own rules? Our large cities have dozens of judges. We need to insure that all of them use the same rules so that everyone is treated equally.
McEden: "We also need to eliminate the practice of allowing the courts to change the rules during the appeals process. This practice encourages attorneys to try to create loopholes to allow their clients to get away with breaking the law. How can we expect people to obey the law if they think they might be able to get an appeals court to change it in their favor?"
Queen: "We have time for one more call. Peg in Mill Valley, what's your question for Governor McEden?"
Peg: "Governor McEden, is your hair naturally blonde?"
McEden: "It used to be. I've been coloring it since I started to get a few gray hairs. Blonde and gray don't look good together. I'll probably stop coloring it when it all goes gray."
Queen: "Thank you, Governor McEden. Tomorrow night my guest will be former President Jimmy Carter. Good night."
McEden: "Thank you for inviting me, Mary."
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