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What’s the Biggest Threat to American Democracy?

Originally published on Common Dreams, July 12, 2018

Democracy’s essence is dignity—knowing that we count and have a real voice, in the voting booth, yes, but also in other dimensions of life, including the economic

(Photo by Sam Morris/Getty Images)

We sure hear a lot today about external threats to our democracy, whether it’s Russia’s election “meddling” or North Korea’s nuclear expansion. But a home-bred threat might run deeper still.

Consider this. More than a third of Americans polled by the finance company LendEdu say they’d forfeit the right to vote in exchange for a 10 percent raise. Whoa…I had long assumed that such a sad choice would be tempting only in the poorest societies.

Learning that so many Americans would trade their voice for bucks could help wake us up to one simple truth: Political democracy, i.e. elected government answering to the peopl