Our mission

The American Leader is a citizen resource for understanding and navigating the multiple systemic problems facing the nation today – and the 24/7 media stream that so often confuses, distorts, and obfuscates the historical and scientific knowledge needed to advance solutions that serve the public good. We look at the scientific evidence and historical threads that shape our world, relying on them to frame today’s problems and solutions. With history and science as context, we offer progress updates on efforts to solve those problems along with profiles of courageous leaders engaged in noteworthy initiatives to advance needed solutions.

By looking at the world through this problem-solving lens, we aim to surface and keep front and center the knowledge and aspiration needed to address the nation’s systemic problems – because solving those problems is how we sustain our democracy.

Our focus is on the most challenging systemic and often interconnected problems facing the United States today – the ones that most profoundly threaten our hopes and aspirations and so, our ability to create a more perfect union. The initial four problems that have our attention: widespread threats to voting rights, the rapidly changing climate, unequal access to healthcare, and our ballooning national debt. Income and wealth inequality, money in politics, the failure to educate for democracy, and immigration are the next issues we’ll take on.

Years of failing to fix these problems have eroded the public’s faith in our democratic system, and we think it’s time to change that. Our approach allows us to step back from the unceasing hype and conflict-driven stream of headlines to spotlight the information that is most relevant to addressing the problems before us.

We hope that, as “owners” of our democracy, you will use the information well.

Our Goals

Provide a refuge from the infostream

If you’re worn out by hyper-partisanship and a constant barrage of headlines and news alerts, or if you just want to know what’s being done to fix the nation’s problems, this is the place for you. Our emphasis is on results, not storytelling. Despite often excellent journalism, the headline-driven media typically lacks memory and context, and its insatiable quest for eyeballs challenges most news consumers to read and process a flood of information. The American Leader eliminates the distractions, distortions, and obfuscations that push vital information downstream and out of view, and that too easily keeps public support from galvanizing around solutions to our top problems. Instead, we keep our spotlight on what is going to improve lives and build a stronger democracy.

We gather the best available information and connect the dots to help you better understand the landscape in which events are happening today, like how climate change is increasing immigration pressures and how one woman helped Montana become more fiscally responsible by taking on a corrupt healthcare-industrial complex. Whenever possible, we’ll also give you some ideas on where you might be able to act in support of the solutions that appeal most to you, in whatever way you’re able.

Navigate our free but vulnerable press

We’re fortunate that we don’t live in a country where the state controls the media. Our free press is a true marketplace of ideas that fuels our personal ambitions and guides us as we join and build our communities. Yet, that marketplace has long been vulnerable to the manipulations of commercial and political interests that don’t always put national and local – or even individual – priorities ahead of profits and power. And over the last several decades, our media marketplace has been infiltrated by the growing influences of anti-democratic forces that would prefer to see our government fail rather than serve the American people.

Our focus on problem solving and progress offers you a way to navigate the dis- and misinformation polluting the marketplace, more knowledgeably assess the motivating priorities behind public statements and actions, and limit the influence of those privileged forces handicapping society’s capacity to respond to the urgent needs of Americans who, for systemic and other reasons, are unable to share in the wealth of the nation.

Our commitment is to equip as many people as possible with the knowledge needed for the active work of citizenship, and to make it a little easier for you to take action. Our work is relentlessly transparent and non-partisan and based on best available data. Our bias is always about results and the movements of the needle of progress.