Voters in America not only aren’t over-empowered, they’ve for decades now been almost totally disenfranchised, subjects of one of the more brilliant change-suppressing systems ever invented.
We have periodic elections, which leave citizens with the feeling of self-rule. But in reality people are only allowed to choose between candidates carefully screened by wealthy donors. Nobody without a billion dollars and the approval of a half-dozen giant media companies has any chance at high office.
People have no other source of influence. Unions have been crushed. Nobody has any job security. Main Street institutions that once allowed people to walk down the road to sort things out with other human beings have been phased out. In their place now rest distant, unfeeling global bureaucracies.
Has a health insurance company wrongly denied your sick child coverage? Good luck even getting someone on the phone to talk it over, much less get it sorted out. Your neighborhood bank, once a relatively autonomous mechanism for stimulating the local economy, is now a glorified ATM machine with limited ability to respond to a community’s most basic financial concerns.
One of the underpublicized revelations of the financial crisis, for instance, was that millions of Americans found themselves unable to get answers to a simple questions like, “Who holds the note to my house?”
This last sentence is one of which I have personal experience. I’m an attorney who has represented people who cannot get their loan servicer to show them the paperwork to prove who owns the note to their house.