Huffpost Politics

Preventing Third World America Step 6: Hold Our Leaders Accountable

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The last presidential election was all about "hope." But just hoping that our leaders in Washington will somehow miraculously start doing the right thing -- especially when they are locked inside a system with overwhelmingly powerful incentives to do the wrong thing -- simply won't cut it.

What we need is Hope 2.0: the realization that change is going to have to come from outside Washington. But no fundamental political change can be accomplished without a movement demanding it. As Frederick Douglass put it, "Power concedes nothing without a demand; it never did and it never will."

In 2004, hope was ignited by an unknown state senator standing up and proclaiming that we are not blue states and red states, but one people who can only solve our problems together.

In 2008, hope was about crossing our fingers and electing leaders who we thought would enact the change we so desperately need.

Hope 2.0 is about creating the conditions that give them no other choice.

Two exciting groups working to fix the democratic process:

  • Fix Congress First!, a grassroots campaign founded by Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig and Joe Trippi, who ran Howard Dean's Internet-fueled 2004 presidential campaign, to pressure Congress to pass public financing legislation.
  • Sunlight Foundation, an organization dedicated to harnessing the "the power of the Internet to catalyze greater government openness and transparency."