Around the world democracy is in trouble. Autocrats have come to power. In the U.S. democracy is compromised by a political system awash in money, gerrymandering, voter suppression and that absurd relic, the electoral college. One of the principal designers of the U.S. system of governance was James Madison. He said the main task of government is “to protect the opulent minority against the majority.” The latter being me and you. And pretty much that’s been the orientation of the state. Here and there a Progressive Era, a New Deal, or a Great Society occur but basically rulers try and keep the donor and landed gentry class happy. Democracy is more like a plutocracy. It is still alive but not at all healthy. It needs fixing. Only an informed and mobilized citizenry can reverse the ominous trajectory we are on.
Caroline Fredrickson is the president of the American Constitution Society and the author of Under the Bus: How Working Women Are Being Run Over and The Democracy Fix: How to Win the Fight for Fair Rules, Fair Courts, and Fair Elections. She has been widely published on a range of legal and constitutional issues. She has served as the director of the ACLU’s Washington legislative office and as general counsel and legal director of NARAL Pro-Choice America.
Helen Cagampang –
Fundraising time on our other NPR channel – so I happened across Alternative Radio on KALW in time to hear Caroline Fredrickson’s energetic, focused talk about the ills and strengths of our democracy. She clearly described the demands that maintaining democracy places on us, the citizens, to sustain our efforts for the long haul, if our democracy is to survive. The other side’s wealthy cadre has consistently supported building and staffing its right wing from the Supreme Court down to local government. Dems must do the same, building from the “farm teams” to the all stars, if our democracy is to survive. One great candidate every so often is not enough to sustain our democracy. Listen, to get energized. And thanks be to Caroline Fredrickson and Alternative Radio!
Carol in Denver –
Her speech is exactly what I and other concerned citizens need. More power to you!
James Gronski –
Some of this I knew. I knew that democracy was being taken down and that there was a plan in place to do so. I did not know just how far back in time that plan went. Until today. Very insightful and informative. Democracy in this country and around the world will become a dream long forgotten by history unless people learn the truth and fight back for their rights.