Beneath `politics': Don't let people off the hook

Lappé, Frances Moore; Du Bois, Paul Martin
September 1995
Social Policy;Fall95, Vol. 26 Issue 1, p25
Academic Journal
This article offers views on the significance of campaign finance reform to the practice of what the authors call as a true culture of democracy in the U.S. The authors argue that a narrow focus on campaign finance reform can blind the U.S. public to a deeper reality: democracy is more than elections, even more than government itself. They believe that if campaign finance reform were enacted, it would not make U.S. citizens better able to deal with the toughest problems of society. According to them, campaign finance reform does nothing to challenge the notion that democracy is simply a structure of government. They are convinced that solutions to the worsening problems of the U.S. will continue to elude the public until democracy becomes much more than a structure of government, until it becomes a culture--a culture of participation in decision-making. The authors cite three reasons for this claim. Again, the authors agree that campaign finance reform is vitally important. But, according to them, the public will all be disappointed if they expect it to do what it cannot do. To move toward a society that works--a true culture of democracy--the public, according to the authors, must be fomenting and nurturing change in the experience of millions of ordinary people.


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