My first book publishes today. It’s called “The Politics Industry: How Political Innovation Can Break Partisan Gridlock and Save Our Democracy.”
Along with my co-author, Harvard Business School professor Michael E. Porter, I’m donating all the proceeds from “The Politics Industry” to The Institute for Political Innovation, the not-for-profit organization I have founded to catalyze model, modern and nonpartisan political change in America.
Here are ten reasons why I’m so deeply committed to this work:
1. Because we have a political system problem—not a policy problem, or a politician problem. A recent survey of the American public and Harvard Business School alumni produced this agreement: Our political system is America’s single greatest weakness.
2. Because everyday people have no impact on American policy. A joint study by Northwestern and Princeton found that “average Americans appear to have only a minuscule, non-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.” This shouldn’t be.
3. Because of all the authors who have inspired me. Among them: Mickey Edwards, Greg Orman, Charlie Wheelan, Neal Simon, John Avlon, Lee Drutman, Hans Rosling, David Schoenbrod, Stephen Dubner & Steven Levitt, Yascha Mounk, Norman Ornstein, Thomas Mann, Larry Diamond, Lawrence Lessig, Wendell Potter, Douglas Schoen, Sarah Smarsh, Jonathan Haidt, Bruce Patton, J.F. Rischard, Lisa Jane Disch, Dambisa Moyo, Arthur Brooks, David McCullough, Christopher Achen & Larry Bartels, and David Brooks.
4. Because we need a new kind of philanthropy in America: Political Philanthropy—a special interest for the general interest. Political Philanthropy offers a huge return on investment by transforming the effectiveness of $4 trillion in federal and state spending.
5. Because I believe in free markets. We need innovation, results and accountability — the best of what healthy competition in free markets delivers. We must have “free market politics.”
6. Because healthy competition delivers results. The last time we had a balanced federal budget we had Ross Perot to thank. President Bill Clinton adviser Paul Begala said it himself: “I am not sure we would have ever balanced the budget without the pressure Perot and his voters brought to the issue.”
7. Because the political innovation tipping point is coming. Great minds and movement leaders are coming together. Among them: Cara McCormick, Nick Troiano, Katie Fahey, JB Lyon, Rob Richie, Daniella Ballou-Aares, Chad Peace, Josh Silver, John Opdycke, Ruth Greenwood, Meredith McGehee, Jeanne Massey, Maya MacGuineas, Betsy Wright Hawkings, Austin Ramirez, Drisana Hughes, Joshua Graham Lynn, John Pudner, Sam Mar, Nancy Jacobson, Evan McMullin, Kathryn Murdoch, Mort Knodracke, Mindy Finn, Lisa Rice, Cynthia Richie Terrell, Debilyn Molineaux, Dave Dodson, Marc Merrill, Andrew Shue, Nick Penniman, Perry Waag, Shawn Griffiths, David Hawkings, Anne-Marie Slaughter, Sarah Bonk, and Sara Eskrich.
8. Because it’s common sense. A recent online commenter said politics industry theory isn’t very impressive, because it sounds just like common sense. He meant it as a criticism, but I took it as a compliment. Who needs complicated when simple common sense is correct?
9. Because we are the makers. As former Wisconsin Senator Robert “Fighting Bob” La Follette put it: “America is not made but is in the making. There is an unending struggle to make and keep government representative. Mere passive citizenship is not enough.”
10. Because there’s already courageous bipartisan leadership. U.S. Reps. Mike Gallagher and Chrissy Houlahan, who wrote the foreword to the book. Wisconsin State Sen. Dale Kooyenga and Rep. Daniel Riemer are leading a legislative effort in the Badger State.
[BONUS] Because we’re not gonna take it anymore. Twisted Sister had it right.
I hope you’ll read our book. There are great ways to buy it, from the usual suspects to indie outlets to local shops. Let’s work together to start writing a new chapter of political change in America.