In a long but effectively argued piece about the challenges facing the nation and how our Congress has failed us, Lawrence Lessig writes:
What would the reform the Congress needs be? At its core, a change that restores institutional integrity. A change that rekindles a reason for America to believe in the central institution of its democracy by removing the dependency that now defines the Fundraising Congress. Two changes would make that removal complete. Achieving just one would have made Obama the most important president in a hundred years.
That one–and first–would be to enact an idea proposed by a Republican (Teddy Roosevelt) a century ago: citizen-funded elections. America won’t believe in Congress, and Congress won’t deliver on reform, whether from the right or the left, until Congress is no longer dependent upon conservative-with-a-small-c interests–meaning those in the hire of the status quo, keen to protect the status quo against change. So long as the norms support a system in which members sell out for the purpose of raising funds to get re-elected, citizens will continue to believe that money buys results in Congress. So long as citizens believe that, it will.
Watch the video to get the main point of his argument: Fix Congress First. The linked website is full of information about why and how Congress must be fixed. Until we citizen-funded election, and we amend the Constitution to ensure the Roberts Court won’t throw out those citizen-funded elections, we have little hope of a broken Congress ever getting the country back on track.