policy, illegal immigration, the arms race, the deficit--which our constitutional system seems unable to solve. I traced this impasse to the fact that the system was designed in and for less demanding times and argued that a simpler, more integrated system would be both more effective and more accountable. Would the changes proposed produce sound policy? Not necessarily. That would depend on the wisdom and skill of our leaders and the health of our culture. What they would do is to remove the excessive obstacles to coherent policy and improve the chance that the electorate could empower a government and hold it accountable for its actions.
It is time to renew the American experiment in constitutional democracy. Its development has been fitful in recent years, as Congress and successive administrations have sought ways to adjust the existing structure and processes to the incessant demands of modernity and as the Supreme Court has groped for reasons for deciding which accommodations are sufficiently in accord with the framers' design and which are not. Despite these creative and dedicated efforts, the feeling has grown that we have lost our way, that our institutions no longer serve the principles that we share with the founding generation. The proposals set forth here are imperfect. They may be thought too timid or too radical as the nation comes to understand its situation and its needs. But if they are seen as arising out of the American tradition and as moving in the direction of a system of government that is both effective and kept accountable to the popular will, perhaps other minds or, even better, the collective mind of the American people will deem them worthy of criticism and improvement.