The Pro-Democracy Wildfire in America's States
The ruling class in Washington and New York are likely clinking glasses this weekend in a grand celebration. This week, with the announcement that both parties' major candidates are vacuuming up corporate cash like never before, they treated America to the beginning of the first billion-dollar presidential campaign, and the final gruesome execution of that thing known as "democracy." The suites of K Street and Wall Street and the mansions of Georgetown and Northern Virginia are the gallows, with bundled, six-figure campaign contributions serving as the noose. Candidates of both parties step right up, slip their heads through the loop and happily grin as the floor drops out from underneath them, snapping whatever spine they had - all while the crowd of big donors and political reporters cheers like beserk baseball fans in Yankee Stadium's right-field bleachers. The deranged mobs at Paris's blood-soaked guillotine during the French Revolution have nothing on America's anti-democratic political elites today.
But out in the heartland - the place where too many Beltway-focused activists, donors, pundits and strategists too often ignore - something of a revolt is going on. Beyond the view of Washington newspaper bureaus, Capitol Hill offices and Dupont Circle wine and cheese fundraisers, states are waging their own multi-pronged pro-democracy fight - and with increasing success.