In "Democracy's Lifeblood," Frances Moore Lappé and Paul Martin Du Bois state that campaign finance reform won't have much effect unless these changes are embedded in a process of deep cultural change. Can you name local examples of the emergence of a more democratic culture? What are some ways the message of this "quickening of America" could be spread? What are some practical suggestions for how democratic skills could be nurtured through your local church or community organization?
Pete MacDowell says that without community, there can be no democracy; and without democracy, there can be no justice. Do you see the formation of community as the first step toward justice? Would you say you have "community" in your life? Discuss what steps you would need to take to build a community based on democratic principles.
Janice Fine and Nick Nyhart state that to revitalize American democracy, we need to rebuild the citizen base and our political machinery, and that campaign finance reform would enable us to do both. Discuss how campaign finance reform could increase participation of citizens in politics. How might the reconstruction of the citizen base lead to structural reform of our political institutions?