Healing American Democracy: Going Local

By Mike Hais, Doug Ross & Morley Winograd

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

American democracy is in trouble.

Loss of public confidence in the federal government to solve—or even care about—the problems and concerns of ordinary people has bred both frustration and anger.

At the same time, sharp divisions—partisan, demographic, cultural, generational and economic—make finding consensus at the federal level nearly impossible.

Yet pundits and politicians continue to call for leadership that “brings us together” as the antidote to this growing divisiveness.

The authors profoundly disagree.

Mike Hais, Doug Ross and Morley Winograd make a thought-provoking, non-partisan case to rebuild Americans’ faith in democracy. Coined as “Constitutional Localism” they suggest moving as much decision-making as possible out of Washington into local communities, while preserving the individual and civil rights granted by the Constitution.

“Messrs Hais, Ross, and Winograd have stumbled upon a simple yet brilliant idea for how to fix American democracy: empower localities to create their own political and civic solutions while using the Constitution as the bedrock for civil rights. From Kalamazoo to Denver, and Knoxville to New Orleans, they provide stories about local success, places where leaders have responded to their constituents’ needs in a way the federal government never could and rebuilt civic trust in the process. The authors’ optimism and creativity have been sorely needed and should be welcomed by those on both the left and the right. On one thing all Americans should be able to agree – we need new solutions and this book offers many that are worthy.”
Michael Smerconish, SiriusXM, CNN, and Sunday Philadelphia Inquirer.

“Here’s a brilliant, alternative solution to our national woes. The notion of bringing power back to communities represents the potential upside in an information age that, to date, has driven greater centralization, economic concentration and horrendous levels of polarization. This should be a foundational text, not to any one political perspective, but to the entire polity.”
Joel Kotkin, Presidential Fellow in Urban Futures, Chapman University and Executive Director, Center for Opportunity Urbanism

“Tip O’Neill said ‘All politics is local.’ As Mike Hais, Doug Ross, and Morley Winograd explore in this valuable work, while Washington is riven by polarization, some of the most innovative and important policies are flowing from local communities today.”
David Axelrod, Founder and Director of the University of Chicago Institute of Politics