A New Progressive Era for the Second Gilded Age

Millennial editor Robert Christian has a new article in Church Life. He writes:

Republicans who reject economic libertarianism are subject to primary challenges from the right, financed by those who see politics as a transactional process to serve their own interests. Democrats who reject social libertarianism often lack the funds to compete in primaries against those backed by the rich pro-abortion rights groups that hold so much sway in the party. Moderates, centrists, and communitarians are left to choose between two deeply flawed candidates in each election. There is a certain powerlessness in this process, and it can be demoralizing for regular voters and citizens. It can generate apathy and indifference….

What is needed is not merely a new set of policies or legislative proposals to promote the common good. Nor is it a matter of trying to find better candidates, who are more dedicated to the common good. Each of these is necessary, but something else is needed, something more radical. There is a need for a second Progressive Era to overturn the Second Gilded Age in which we live. There is a need to fundamentally reform the structure of American politics….

How can we foster a more democratic system that serves the common good? Just as the Progressive Era reforms were designed to remedy the injustices generated by industrialization, we need an updated system that reflects our contemporary global economy. Surely this will require numerous changes, but there are three that would likely be a good start: campaign finance reform, redistricting reform, and primary election reform.

The full article can be read here.