What Jonathan Haidt's "Tower of Babel" essay on the last decade in America oversimplifies and where it might could invite us to go.
I agree with this completely. It's the designers who are creating within a specific set of cultural norms, and, I would add, also the implementers who normalize the "innovations." I touch on this latter issue in the context of the "low-information voter" in my post here: https://jonthinks.substack.com/p/do-voters-have-a-clue?r=mrvx1&s=w&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web
I sum it up this way:
"Perhaps the key to winning voters is not simply direct outreach from the party to voters to change their minds, but, also, the urgent reform of our governing and public policy ecosystem such that the interests and operations of the institutions of government and policy, and of the managerial class, are recast and aligned with those of the average voter — or even — at this late stage, with the interests of the diversity of our voters?
It’s time . . .
The political problem to solve is not how to move or mobilize individual voters (which we already now a lot about), but how to move and reform the enormous bureaucratic public policy ecosystem that keeps people/voters from . . . getting a clue. For Democrats, in particular:
It’s time to think smaller-scale.
It’s time to think simple (but not simplistic).
It’s time to think local.
It’s time to move power and decision-making closer to The People.
It’s time to radically reduce the complexity of government and governing.
It’s time to speak plain English.
It’s time to create new forums for popular input and conversation.
It’s time for more transparency.
It’s time to be more present with The People.
It’s time to ”unroll” much of the complexities of the federal government.
It’s time to prioritize empowering our “essential workers.”
It’s time to hold the managing elite accountable for Democratic outcomes rather than bureaucratic effort.
It’s time to expand the House of Representatives so that The People have authentic and accessible representation. (This cannot be provided by representatives who represent hundreds of thousands of people.)
It’s time to reform countless House and Senate rules and procedures that effectively obscure, and often undermine, democratic process.
It’s time to get off of our high horses and get to work with saw horses to build adequate housing
It’s time to vastly simplify the tax code for the average taxpayer.
It’s time to make the tax code fairer and to support the needs of a sustainable democratic republic.
It’s time to champion the welfare of The People
It’s time to champion the public education of The People.
It’s time to seriously simplify our electoral system to make both running for office and voting more user-friendly
It’s time to move from being bleeding hearts to leading hearts.
This list could go on and on, and it should.1 Hopefully many people will find reason to think more about these issues and how to be sure that our voters, The People, can get a whole lot more than a clue. What do you think and what would you add?"