Causation and Symptoms
It is critically important to distinguish between cause and effect. In a medical context, if we want a patient to be healthy, we must treat the cause of a disease and not merely treat the symptoms of the malady.
The political body of the United States of America is severely diseased. Too many people are presently focused on the symptoms of the disease and as a result, the cause(s) are under-appreciated and unfortunately neglected. Every day I receive emails asking me to sign petitions to oppose various symptoms of the disease ravaging our political body. Sometimes I sign them, sometimes I don't. I prefer to spend more time and effort focused on healing the causes of our dysfunctions.
Bold Progressives conducted some revealing polls that illustrate many policy issues that majorities of Americans favor, but are highly unlikely to be legislated. There are 17 issues that have favorability of 70% or higher and all but one of these fall into the symptoms category. If we want Congress to legislate the things we want done then we better address the causes of our dysfunctions.
This nation was crafted to be a representative democratic republic. Nowhere in the Constitution does the word leader appear, but we easily find Representatives and Representation. Thanks to corrosive corruption, The People are no longer represented by far too many elected officials. Represent.us is doing the best job to educate The People and to implement solutions based on the American Anti-Corruption Act. This effort addresses some of the most fundamental causes of the disease and I cannot recommend this effort enough.
Unfortunately, only about half of the states in our union have referendum or ballot initiative provisions in place and the Supreme Court has effectively made this effort unlikely to stand in opposition to the Citizens United ruling.
Move To Amend advocates for a Constitutional amendment to ensure that spending money in political campaigns is no longer construed as an expression of first amendment free speech protections. Move To Amend maintains an excellent educational website that deserves your attention and addresses causes of our political problems. Ending the doctrine of corporate personhood is also an imperative because it has been the main legal tool for corporations to acquire Undue Protections and rig the system.
No where in the Constitution is there an affirmative right to vote. Extending voting rights and ensuring electoral integrity has been an ongoing process since the founding of our nation. Fair Vote.org is presently at the forefront of efforts to continue the good fight. Considering that the USA has recently been ranked last in electoral integrity for developed countries and is no longer considered to be a valid functional democracy by credible sources, it's time to focus considerable energy to restore integrity to our electoral systems.
Gerrymandering has been a problem since for two centuries in this country. The Boston Gazette may have been the first publication to print the term, Gerry-mander on March 26, 1812. New technology in the form of Redmap along with other factors has recently made gerrymandering a significant problem that we must solve if we desire to have a healthy functional representative democracy. David Daley wrote an exceptionally good book detailing the subject titled, Ratf**ked. The Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that there is no viable method to measure gerrymandering, but concerned citizens with good mathematical skills have found applicable metrics. You can read an excerpt here. Others have also taken sound mathematical approaches to the problem and you can read about it in Scientific American, the NY Times and from other sources as well.