Instituting these reforms would not make magic occur. Stubborn ideological beliefs would still separate the parties and make difficult the forging of consensus. But dramatically reducing the money in politics would make campaigns less reckless and destructive with their limited resources, and it would allow incumbents to be freer of the influence and pressure that big-money donors can exert on the actual governing process.
Here’s the kicker. Only a concerted campaign by the media and citizens can make these changes happen. Whether these reforms will take legislation, lawsuits, new incumbents or constitutional amendments, none of them will occur without citizen mobilization and a supportive media that — having decided that these changes are in the widest possible public interest — elevates this agenda to its front pages every week.
Brian T. Watson is a regular Salem News columnist. Contact him at email@example.com.