When Nation on the Take was released last year, we couldn’t have imagined how much more salient its exposés of corruption and congressional inaction would become in 2017.
Since the book was first released, our country has been flipped on its head thanks to the surprise election of Donald Trump. His victory, fueled by promises to crack down on corruption in Washington and “drain the swamp,” is a clear sign that Americans crave change, and that they’re willing to take extreme measures to achieve it.
Because, as Nation on the Take outlines, our everyday lives are deeply intertwined with policy fights in Washington, from how much we pay for medications, food and fuel, to whether we’re breathing clean air and drinking clean water. The American people are paying the price for cronyism and gridlock with their health, financial security and futures of their loved ones — and they know it.
For those desiring change, now is the time to arm yourself with knowledge. We all need to understand how money greases the policy gears in Washington and the role members of Congress play as both victims to deep-pocketed outside interests and extortionists. For all the talk of “draining the swamp,” early moves by the administration leave serious doubts as to whether it will take up the mantle of reform. It’s up to us to disrupt and fix this system by continuing to demand change from the business-as-usual practices that got us here.
There is a silver lining to all of this — the battle plan to return government to the people in Nation on the Take holds just as much promise today as it did a year ago. No party has a monopoly on reform, and the American people have delivered a clear mandate for change to their government.
Over the past few weeks it’s been heartening to see people so deeply engaged in policy fights across the country, and I submit that if we make restoring democracy a core piece of our demands, we will win.
Our democracy is there for the reclaiming, and as Thomas Jefferson once said, “a little rebellion now and then is a good thing.”