There are moments in our history that call for bold change. This is one of them.
On virtually every issue of importance, the playing field is tilted toward powerful special interests and against ordinary Americans.
The playing field is tilted for three reasons. First, over the last eight years, the problem of money in politics has gone from bad to worse, as the Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizens United case unleashed unlimited corporate money in politics. Second, in this information age, corporations and the government control huge amounts of information about individuals and their private lives and data breaches are a near-daily occurrence. Finally, gerrymandering and voter suppression have gotten out of control in recent years.
To level the playing field, we need to upgrade the Constitution for the 21st century. We need “Democracy 2.0.”
Democracy 2.0 is a platform of three amendments to the U.S. Constitution:
First, a campaign finance reform amendment that overturns Citizens United and makes clear that corporations aren’t people and money isn’t speech.
Second, a privacy amendment that guarantees every individual a right to privacy in their personal information and private lives.
Finally, a new voting rights amendment that guarantees every citizen has the right to vote, without interference from partisan gerrymandering or voter suppression tactics.
This isn’t an outlandish idea. At critical moments in our history, we have amended the Constitution to keep America’s promise — of opportunity, justice, and fair political participation — for all Americans.
Just a few years after our country was founded, we passed the Bill of Rights to guarantee freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and more. In the aftermath of the Civil War, we passed amendments to outlaw slavery, guarantee birthright citizenship, ensure equal protection of the laws, and prohibit racial discrimination in voting. A hundred years ago, we amended the Constitution to allow for direct election of Senators and guarantee women the right to vote. And during the civil rights era, we abolished poll taxes and lowered the voting age to 18.
At each turn, our predecessors took important steps to extend America’s promise to more Americans. We are at one of those moments today: our nation faces pressing challenges which threaten to undermine its promise of opportunity and equality.
Our Constitution isn’t perfect, but it embodies America’s promise of opportunity and equality. By upgrading the Constitution, we can level the playing field and keep America’s promise for all Americans.