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The current situation in Washington, likely to get worse in the next few years rather than better, should turn the attention of progressives and all fervent believers in democracy to initiative and referendum (I&R) as a way to preserve at least some semblance of democracy.
Yes, I&R has been abused in some places, at times. But it has done a world of good at other times, in other places.
Note how democracy has been strangled by the Republicans’ openly discriminatory gerrymandering of congressional and legislative districts! And note how I&R gets around that problem.
Events at the start of this century and since have increased the public desire for popular-vote election of presidents, one way or another. I&R can open up the government to public control too.
The corporatist dictators and their politicians, newspapers, radio shows, robocalls and Supreme Court justices will fight with every penny and every trick they have to stop the adoption of I&R. Which should encourage us even more to work for adoption of it.