Why [Lessig] Ran For President

“Why I Ran For President” by Lawrence Lessig:

That recognition made more urgent this question: What if we could recruit a candidate who would draw the public back to a point that, in some sense, they already recognize—that the system is rigged, and that it must be unrigged if anything real is going to happen? Given the stakes, I thought it worth a try. And after I spent much of the summer trying to recruit a credible, outsider candidate, I recognized something that would be critical to my own decision to run: that even if a candidate got only as far as the debates, his or her candidacy could make a difference. Even if all that the candidate did was to drive attention to this latent demand for reform, it could well shift the focus of the campaign in a way that made reform more likely. For much of July, I spoke to everyone I could about the idea. It was when the Democratic National Committee announced the rules for the debates, at the beginning of August, that I became certain I would try.

I’m so glad that Mr. Lessig ran the campaign he did. I’m saddened by how the DNC treated his candidacy. It’s made me even more cynical about the power of party politics to bring about meaningful change in US politics. But, it’s what we have. How much change needs to occur within existing institutions (like political parties) and how much needs to be systemic change of the way those institutions work in our country.

I’ll just go watch Season 5 of Angel again.


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