Action Needed to Save Representative Democracy

By Rick Ulfik

I and WE stand with the young people leading the movement to make modest changes in gun laws that could save many lives in the future. It is an indication of the dangerous erosion of Representative Democracy that so much energy has to be expended in order to modestly increase protections from gun violence, given that a majority of Americans have supported those changes for many years.

Ultimately, I think there are many strategies that are needed to create a true Culture of Peace where young people and everyone can feel safe and potentially have a happy and fulfilling life. Our 11 Campaigns For Change are designed to bring most of these strategies together into one “blueprint” for societal transformation. We invite you to join us, participate with your group and support us to make it happen!

Why WE Are Alarmed – Our System of Representative Democracy has been Increasingly Failing

I see two alarming trends in society that contributed to the tragedy that sparked the students’ actions:

  • The views and wishes of a minority of people are being reflected in many laws and policies that the majority of people strongly disagree with (see below)
  • No longer are there public media platforms seen and trusted by 90% of people or more, where major controversial issues are discussed, with accompanying factual information, that could lead to public understanding, healing, and popular consensus about the way forward.

Examples where Majority Public Opinion is not reflected in Government Laws or Practices

Gun Safety Laws

  • 94% of Americans support requiring background checks for all gun buyers. SOURCE
  • Overall, 70% of Americans now say they back stricter gun laws, up from 52% who said so in an October poll not long after a mass shooting in Las Vegas killed 58 people. Just 27% oppose stricter laws. SOURCE

Getting Big Money Out Of Politics

  • Large majorities of both Democrats (84%) and Republicans (72%) favor limiting the amount of money individuals and organizations can spend on campaigns and issues. SOURCE

Immigration – Dreamers and the Border Wall

  • A large majority (74%) favors granting permanent legal status to immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally when they were children, but 60% oppose a proposal to “substantially expand the wall along the U.S. border with Mexico”. SOURCE

Taxing Wealthy Corporations and Individuals

  • More Americans favor raising than lowering tax rates on corporations and high household incomes. 73% of Americans say tax rates on corporations and large businesses should be raised or kept the same (not lowered). SOURCE

Healthcare For All

  • 60% of Americans say the federal government is responsible for ensuring health care coverage for all Americans. SOURCE

Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling

  • More Americans oppose allowing more offshore oil and gas drilling in U.S. waters than favor it. SOURCE

Election Results

  • More people have voted for Democrats in Congress during the last few elections, yet Republicans are in control (because of Gerrymandering)
  • 500,000 more people voted for the Democratic Presidential Candidate in 2000 and nearly 3 million more people voted for the Democratic Presidential Candidate in 2016, yet Republicans took control in both elections (because of the Electoral College)

We could go on and on with similar examples. The question is, what can we do about this?

It’s Time to UNITE Our Efforts!

If we are to repair our system of Representative Democracy, we believe it is essential to end the pervasive fragmentation of grassroots groups and movements.

For over 15 years, We, The World has been building global networks of collaboration and action for peace, sustainability and transformation. We, The World annually connects and promotes thousands of socially conscious organizations and movements to amplify their efforts and generate public awareness and action.

And now, with your participation, we can carry out a strategic collaborative plan for large scale coalition-building, collective action and the promotion of “WE Thinking” to spark a cultural shift towards considering the Common Good for people and the whole web of life.

We need your involvement to take things to the next level. Will you join us? Here’s what you can do:

Thank you! Let’s turn things around for a Culture of Peace and a Livable Future.

Rick Ulfik
Founder of We, The World and the WE Campaign at
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Rick Ulfik is founder and board chair of We, The World, and he is the founder and a principal organizer of the WE Campaign of We, The World. The WE Campaign unites and amplifies the efforts of people, organizations and global movements working for the common good. This letter was sent in March to various social change organizations.

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