Thomas Friedman can sometimes be a little shrill, but in an op-ed piece he published on the eve of the latest government shutdown and debt ceiling debacle, he makes clear that what is at stake isn't really Obamacare or ideological disagreements over the size and function of the Federal government. What's at stake is democracy itself.
He identifies three recent changes in our political landscape: extreme gerrymandering, the impact of the Citizens United decision, and the growth of ideological "media spheres" as the source of our current peril:
These “legal” structural changes in money, media and redistricting are not going away. They are superempowering small political movements to act in extreme ways without consequences and thereby stymie majority rule. If democracy means anything, it means that, if you are outvoted, you accept the results and prepare for the next election. Republicans are refusing to do that. It shows contempt for the democratic process.
President Obama is not defending health care. He’s defending the health of our democracy. Every American who cherishes that should stand with him.Read more
To ensure that everyone's voice is valued in Wisconsin, we need to:
- make sure that laws governing Wisconsin originate in Wisconsin;
- protect and extend free and fair elections;
- apply sunshine laws to all state and local government agencies;
- enact non-partisan political redistricting;
- let Wisconsin vote on the proposed amendment about corporate personhood.