“We the People.”
With these three words in his last State of the Union address, President Barack Obama launched into a moving call to fix our democracy and while doing so, perfectly expressed the urgent need for the voice of the American people to be heard more clearly on Capitol Hill.
Our public life withers when only the most extreme voices get attention. Most of all, democracy breaks down when the average person feels their voice doesn’t matter; that the system is rigged in favor of the rich or the powerful or some narrow interest.
The president couldn’t be more correct. The Founders knew that our democracy would be best served when it is guided by the common sense of the people, and not special interests that make the noisiest commotion.
That is exactly what we are seeking to do through the Citizen Cabinet process – to give voice to the people as a whole, not just the angry factions or the deep-pocketed influence industry. It was nice to hear the president deliver the message in a speech to the audience most in need of hearing it.