Everywhere in America, the forces of digitization, innovation, and personalization are expanding our options and bettering the way we live. Everywhere, that is, except in our politics. There we are held hostage to an eighteenth century system, dominated by two political parties whose ever-more-polarized rhetorical positions mask a mutual interest in maintaining a stranglehold on power.The Declaration of Independents is a compelling and extremely entertaining manifesto on behalf of a system better suited to the future–one structured by the essential libertarian principles of free minds and free markets. Gillespie and Welch profile libertarian innovators, identify the villains propping up the ancien regime, and take aim at do-something government policies that hurt most of those they claim to protect. Their vision will resonate with a wide swath of frustrated citizens and young voters, born after the Cold War’s end, to whom old tribal allegiances, prejudices, and hang-ups about everything from hearing a foreign language on the street to gay marriage to drug use simply do not make sense.
What happens to democracy and free speech if people use the Internet to listen and speak only to the like-minded? What is the benefit of the Internet’s unlimited choices if citizens narrowly filter the information they receive? Cass Sunstein first asked these questions in 2001’s Republic.com. Now, in Republic.com 2.0, Sunstein thoroughly rethinks the critical relationship between democracy and the Internet in a world where partisan Weblogs have emerged as a significant political force.
Republic.com 2.0 highlights new research on how people are using the Internet, especially the blogosphere. Sunstein warns against “information cocoons” and “echo chambers,” wherein people avoid the news and opinions that they don’t want to hear. He also demonstrates the need to regulate the innumerable choices made possible by technology. His proposed remedies and reforms emphasize what consumers and producers can do to help avoid the perils, and realize the promise, of the Internet.
Nearly 800 proposals have been made to amend or abolish the Electoral College, and its divisiveness raises many questions. What role do electors play in American democracy? How should they vote? Should the Electoral College exist at all? Much confusion surrounds this institution, in large part because of how the original Electoral College varies from its contemporary counterpart, the evolved Electoral College. This book helps readers to understand the distinction and how we got where we are today. Focusing on the controversial 2016 election, in which Trump received nearly three million fewer popular votes than Clinton, Representation and the Electoral College shows how the Electoral College acts on behalf of the American public and alters election outcomes. In exploring the origin, development, and practice of the Electoral College, this study also presents the most extensive analysis of presidential electors to date.