democracy is a work in progress
Problems, Progress, Leaders2022-01-06T18:33:56-05:00

January 6: The Future We Choose

The Leader’s founder and executive editor reassessed a humorous story he told about his daughter, and discovered his hesitation at accepting what his own observations were telling him. Read more >

Leader Spotlight

Erica Payne: Rallying Tax-Happy Millionaires


Erica Payne created the Patriotic Millionaires, a group of people who have more than $5 million in assets or $1 million in annual income who believe they and others like them should pay more taxes to ensure that our democracy can thrive.

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Progress Updates

A Glimmer of Hope for Ending Debt Limit Showdowns

2022-01-20T18:57:22-05:00January 20, 2022|Categories: |

The next vote on paying the nation’s bills will be after the ’22 election, creating an opening for a campaign about the country’s soaring national debt – and discussion about how to depoliticize the borrowing cap that funds it.

“You do the math. You solve one problem, then you solve the next one and then the next and if you solve enough problems you get to come home.”
Matt Damon, as Mark Watney from the film The Martian
Problem Briefs
We the People

Expansion of Voting Rights: The right to vote in America is considered a fundamental democratic liberty – it is one of those rights that we fight wars to defend. Yet, when the nation was founded, voting was almost exclusively reserved for propertied white men. Since then, voting rights have slowly grown more inclusive, expanding to an ever broader cross-section of the American public, but this progress has almost always been hard won.

We the People

Growth of Government: The size of the federal government and its role in capital markets have been debated since our independence from Britain was declared. Debates about the role of government in the lives of its citizens are what created our Constitution. Whatever the idealism that drives these debates, the reality on the ground is that the federal government has almost always been needed to address critical problems.

We the People

Law & Politics & the Balance of Power: American democracy relies on a social contract that places a great deal of trust in the checks and balances of the three branches of government, and in a news media often considered  a fourth branch. Politics inevitably creeps into this system, especially when circumstances create opportunities for elected officials to take advantage of inadequacies in the Constitution.

We the People

US Law Indifferent to Immigrants: Immigration policy has paralleled the difficult task of addressing the legacy of slavery in modern American life and the challenges of creating space for Indigenous people whose traditional lands were taken during a period of often-violent expansion. Whereas the law has moved steadily toward greater respect for the rights of Black and Indigenous people, however, it remains more indifferent to the place of immigrants in our society.

Our Focus

The American Leader offers an outcomes-driven journalism that goes beyond the endless conflicts and debates and focuses instead on what Americans do so well – solve problems. Often hidden beneath the surface of the 24/7 stream of headlines and attention seekers is a deep bench of American leaders who are attempting bold or innovative ideas to solve the systemic problems that shape our lives. Like noise-cancelling headphones, we’ll eliminate the distortions, distractions, and obfuscations of the news cycle, so that you can learn from these leaders, get inspired, and do something that makes life a little better for your community.

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