We have to confront the problems of political polarization and the influence of Big Money.
- The Electoral College is an elitist relic, and it should be abolished. We should support the National Popular Vote effort.
- Three facts about polarization in America:
- Polarization is real, and assymetric: the left is centrist, while the right has gone nuts.
- Polarization is an elite phenomenon: most Americans are not supportive of the current right wing tilt of national policy. In fact, on the whole, majorities of Americans support progressive policies.
- American history has had previous periods of political polarization, and each previous period has subsided only when one political party lost the national argument. For instance, in the 50's and 60's polarization was low, because southern Democrats were willing to compromise on civil rights protections. As a result, political polarization may have been low, but life was terrible for millions of Americans.
- The solutions to political polarization require not just changes to institutional design (like gerrymandering, or primaries), but the Democrats must also be more forceful in arguing for progressive goals, like single payer, which are well received by the public.
- Citizens United, a 5-4 Supreme Court decision, resulted in enabling the wealthiest people and largest corporations in this country to contribute unlimited amounts of money to campaigns. This decision must be overturned and corruption in politics must end. This means fighting to pass a constitutional amendment making it clear that Congress and the states have the power to regulate money in elections. We must also eliminate super PACs and other outside spending abuses and work to aggressively enforce campaign finance rules.
- In order to protect our democracy, we must fight for a publicly financed, transparent system of campaign financing that amplifies small donations. We must also ensure that all Americans are guaranteed an effective right to vote.