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Republic Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress - and a Plan to Stop It

Book Review: In Republic Lost, Lawrence Lessig outlines the structure of a cancer that is eating away at our democracy. A cancer so clever that it has developed it's own mechanisms that are designed to protect its nefarious nature. That nature, seemingly subtle, is tearing at the very heart of our nation in ways that if unattended may ultimately render the patient unrecoverable. That patient is the United States of America.

Lawrence Lessig has brought together a gathering of facts and analysis culminating in a concise and well reasoned view of the problems that plague our representative democracy.

But plague is maybe to light a descriptive for the infection that has infiltrated our Republic, that of the United States of America.

Cancer is a more accurate descriptive. We have allowed the cancer of money to eat away at the foundations that the Framers of our Country intended. One man, one vote.

My own opinion is that we have allowed the wool to be pulled over our eyes by our own lack of attention to this developing cancer. Further, it is my opinion that it is 'we the people', that need to engage in a way meaningful enough to return the power of our intended representative democracy 'one man, one vote' i.e. to the hands of the people, and as best we can, eliminate the influence of special interests that have their own 'special interests' at heart.

The message is clear though, as difficult or even impossible the challenge may seem, it is up to us, each as individuals, to return the power to the people, to restore and protect our Republic from the cancer that has clearly grown to such influence as to be palatable to the majority of everyday Americans.

Lessig goes further to suggest solutions that will help us on this path of recovery and admits the difficulty of the challenge. He further states that 'we the people' need, to not only be apart of this process, but that we need to be part of innovating and refining the solutions to ensure we are successful.

It is my opinion that not only are we, as responsible citizens, the core of the solution, but that we have a duty to protect that which we love, our country, our families, our friends... That means we must protect our nation, our economy and our future from enemies both foreign and domestic. That means we must stop the special interest influence of lobbyists that impose their will on the legislature, or we risk losing that which is most precious to us all, our home.

By John P. Reisman - January 6th, 2012

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poweredby
poweredby says:
Mar 07, 2012 05:13 AM

Lessig's recent book One Way Forward is concise and well-thought read that builds on Republic Lost, clearly demonstrating the need for campaign reform and offering a viable solution. I highly recommend it.

John P. Reisman
John P. Reisman says:
Mar 07, 2012 05:16 AM

I look forward to reading it.

Tracy Goodwin
Tracy Goodwin says:
May 24, 2012 10:54 PM

Could you briefly describe the solution proposed? I am curious about how to engage in campaign reform.

I see campaigns as causing many issues with the current system. Politicians are constantly campaigning and if they aren't they still focus on how everything they do could effect their next campaign. That leads to much of the posturing we constantly see. Also during campaigns both sides appeal to their bases and biggest donors because they is how they elected but those groups tend to be at the extremes of the political spectrum. That is one cause of the polarization we see in politics today.

John P. Reisman
John P. Reisman says:
May 25, 2012 01:07 AM

Hi Tracy,

In consideration of the Madison Amendment:

http://www.madisonamendment.org/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twenty-seventh_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

many feel that a coordinated action plan is required to try to get money out of politics. The problem is that with things such as Buckley v. Valeo, Citizens United and the history there is little incentive for politicians to support real reform. That means it's up to citizens to become better informed of the issues involved.

dmuenchau
dmuenchau says:
Jun 25, 2012 04:14 PM

A summary of Lessig's proposed reforms is here: http://coffeepartyaustin.org/?page_id=1402

An incentive-based proposal is here:
http://california-moderate.blogspot.com/2011/11/how-to-blunt-special-interest-money.html