democracy is a work in progress
Problems, Progress, Leaders2022-11-15T00:24:23-05:00
Turning a blind eye

Just Words: The Authoritarian Nationalist Freedom Caucus

Contrary to most political and media expectations, democracy stood its ground in the November elections. But even before all the votes were counted and the celebrations subsided, the Washington Post unintentionally gave us a reminder of one big reason why this country remains in trouble.  Read more >

Leader Spotlight

David Becker: Making Elections More Secure


We are resurfacing this profile of David Becker, published weeks before the 2020 election, because he correctly dismissed the many concerns being expressed at the time that the presidential vote would somehow be corrupted. His reason: The long-tenured election officials who would oversee the election. Those people are now under attack, and election deniers are candidates vying for their positions.

Progress Updates: Voting Rights

Abortion Access is Frontline in Church-State Struggle

Intentionally or not, the opposition to abortion rights has generated an attack on the First Amendment principle of separation of church and state. And their victory in Dobbs has further emboldened anti-democracy forces that would make this a Christian nation.

Threat to Democracy Coming Into Focus

More Americans are recognizing that their choice at the ballot box this fall is between continuing as a country governed by a democratically chosen majority and giving away that right to a party dominated by people who no longer respect election results or our democratic institutions.

No Central Command in Battle Against Anti-Democracy Candidates

Hundreds of election deniers are running for office. With the integrity of our elections once again at stake in November, efforts to thwart the forces that would destroy what's left of our democratic foundation are hampered by the lack of a clear, coordinated battle plan.

“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

Graphic showing uninsured rates of care
Access to Healthcare

Many Americans lack access to affordable healthcare.Access is limited by high cost, lack of insurance coverage, and a shortage of healthcare providers. Efforts in government to resolve these problems are deeply polarizing and typically provoke powerful industry interests that stand in the way of expanding access. Yet, the complex marketplace for healthcare services doesn’t always incentivize better care for more people.

More frequent wildfires are one result of global warming
Climate Change

Climate change is happening now, impacting us faster and sooner than predicted.  The increasingly frequent floods, wildfires, and extreme weather events are causing damage in a growing number of communities around the country that are just now realizing the meaning of climate change. The specific damage varies by region, but recent reports indicate the costly impacts of climate change are no longer only predictions of the future. Whether or not you believe in climate change, those predictions are now also descriptions of the present.

Image of a weight fracturing the American flag
National Debt

The national debt has increased in all but four years since 1980. Its ongoing rise reflects an imbalance between tax and spending policies. The higher the debt, the greater the risks – to economic growth and stability and to our ability to address the next economic crisis when it occurs. While the debt may not be the most urgent problem facing the nation, it has the potential to undermine our ability to respond to those issues that demand action such as climate change and access to healthcare.

Damaged Flag with Eyes Peering
Threats to Voting Rights

The lie of a stolen election, the January 6 attack on Congress to prevent the certification of the 2020 election results, and the candidacies of hundreds of election deniers is putting at risk the very heart of our democracy – the right of all eligible citizens to vote and have their vote counted. Add in the volatile mix of Americans who now think democracy no longer works and those who no longer support the separation of church and state, and it becomes clear that we are in a struggle to preserve what President Ronald Reagan called “the shining city upon a hill whose beacon light guides freedom-loving people everywhere.”

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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