The Washington Post reported today that the Netflix series “House of Cards” is a runaway success in China. The series casting Washington as a cesspool of self-seeking political operators, while surely exaggerated, has been a hit in the US as well, speaking to Americans’ deep lack of confidence that the government is being run to fulfill the Founders’ mandate to serve the common good.

As the Chinese and others absorb these images, we can see the consequences for the prospects of democracy all around the world. The American people’s loss of confidence in their government is more than a minor public relations problem within the US. America is a model to the world and when its citizens lose confidence, everywhere it saps people’s resolve to pursue democracy, strengthening the hands of autocrats.

Voice Of the People arose from conversations with the American people in which they said what would help restore their confidence in government was for the government to more systematically listen to and be guided by the sense of the people. To strengthen American democracy, restore its legitimacy, and move beyond its image as a House of Cards, here and abroad, it’s time for the American government to re-anchor itself in ‘We the People.’


Today the Program for Public Consultation (PPC) released the results of its latest public consultation on Social Security Reform. PPC found large majorities of Republicans and Democrats agree on how to reform Social Security. Click here for the complete report.

A representative sample of Americans went through a process called a ‘policymaking simulation’ that puts the respondent in the shoes of a policymaker. Working online, they were briefed on the current issues of Social Security especially the problem of Social Security solvency, and presented options for reform, with pro and con arguments for each option. Finally, they were allowed to make their own detailed proposal for how to reform Social Security. Using these new tools, they were able to get inside the problem and find solutions–even on a tough, complex issue like the Social Security shortfall.

Now you can try it too. The ‘policymaking simulation,’ is now posted online at VOP.org – so anyone can go through the same process the representative sample went through. Try it and see how YOU would solve the Social Security shortfall. Once you’ve gone through the exercise, you can share what you’ve learned with your Members of Congress.

On the Voice of the People site you can find policymaking simulations on several topics. In the coming months VOP will be posting simulations on the Federal Budget, the US Postal Service and other topics to provide new, more effective methods to inform and engage the public–and give ‘We the People’ a greater voice in policy decisions.

Try it yourself, share this link with others, and let’s help realize the Founders’ vision of a republic, guided by the sense of the people.



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