America's Failing Experiment: How We the People Have Become the Problem, makes the controversial claim that the American political system suffers from too much democracy. An accomplished public policy expert coeditor of the Journal Survey Practice, Kirby Goidel argues that our elected officials are overly responsive to public opinion which is often poorly informed, incoherent, and uncertain. The result is a more polarized political system, rising inequality, and institutional gridlock. These concerns are not new but take on deeper political significance in a digital age where information flows more quickly and opportunities for feedback are virtually unlimited. If the diagnosis is too much democracy, the counterintuitive solution runs against our cultural norms-less citizen involvement, greater discretion for political elites, and greater collective responsibility.
Kirby Goidel is the Scripps Howard Professor of Mass Communication, and former Director of the Public Policy Research Lab at Louisiana State University and a co-editor of the journal Survey Practice, sponsored by the American Association of Public Opinion Research (AAPOR).
Introduction: We Are the Problem Chapter 1: Constitutional Design and Democracy Chapter 2: Political Psychology and Democratic Competence Chapter 3: Political Inequality and Campaign Finance Chapter 4: The News Media, New Media, and Democracy Chapter 5: Gridlock and American Political Institutions Chapter 6: Do No Harm Chapter 7: America's Recovery Plan