democracy is a work in progress
Problems, Progress, Leaders2022-05-17T07:10:47-05:00
Screenshot of a Facebook reply that say "#WeAreNOTaDemocracy"

America is an Inclusive Democracy: If you haven’t yet realized that we are beyond politics as usual, take a look at our updated problem brief on the threats to voting rights. There’s an authoritarian strain controlling the GOP today, centered around Donald Trump, but the roots go deeper. And the number of people willing to claim “we are not a democracy” seems to be growing. 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.

Updated Problem Brief

We’ve updated Threats to Voting Rights because what we see happening now threatens to uproot the electoral system entirely as an authoritarian strain that has slowly engulfed the GOP now threatens fundamental rights to vote and have our votes count.

Election Security

False claims of voter fraud and a stolen election repeated by Donald Trump and other Republican leaders inspired the January 6 attack on the Capitol and encouraged the introduction of new mechanisms to limit the casting and counting of ballots.

Voter Suppression

Following passage of the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts, southern Democrats left the party to join conservatives in remaking the Republican Party. They brought their Jim Crow sentiments and tactics with them.

Disinformation and Election Integrity

Only 33% of Republicans say they would trust the 2024 election results if their candidate loses, whereas 82% of Democrats and 68% of Independents said they would. Why this imbalance? For decades, GOP leaders have falsely decried voter fraud and baselessly portrayed Democrats as anti-American, amoral, and corrupt.


Gerrymandering by both parties has reduced competition for elective office and enabled the election of extremists who have steadily eroded the norms of democracy and now support false claims of a stolen election.

Electoral College

After Mitt Romney’s 2012 election loss, Republican leadership recommended that they make the party more welcoming to Hispanic, Black, Asian, and gay Americans. Then they promptly rejected their own recommendations, making the Electoral College the key to Donald Trump’s 2016 victory and the focal point of the January 6 insurrection.

“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
Progress Updates

Telehealth Coverage Extended

2022-05-04T13:45:29-05:00March 21, 2022|

In a win for the millions of patients who took advantage of telehealth services authorized for coverage during the pandemic, Congress extended and expanded those services for another five months and will evaluate them for more permanent coverage.

A Glimmer of Hope for Ending Debt Limit Showdowns

2022-04-28T04:16:01-05:00January 20, 2022|

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.

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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