Democracy is not just under attack in America. In some states, it's being lost.
Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis once suggested that states could serve as laboratories of democracy, but these states are more like laboratories of autocracy.
Take Wisconsin. The GOP has so successfully rigged state elections through gerrymandering that even when Democrats get more votes, Republicans win more seats. In 2018, Republicans won just 45% of the vote statewide, but were awarded 64% of the seats. Wisconsin is one of several states where an anti-democracy movement has taken hold but it wasn't always this way.
Teddy Roosevelt called the state a "laboratory for wise legislation aiming to secure the social and political betterment of the people as a whole." But for the last decade, Wisconsin has become a laboratory for legislation that does the exact opposite.
This political alliance with corporate power has given these Republican legislatures free rein to pursue an extreme culture war agenda - one that strips away rights that majorities of people support while deflecting attention from their corporate patrons' economic agendas.
But it doesn't have to be this way. There are still laboratories of democracy where true public servants are finding creative ways to defend the rights of us all.
Elected officials in Colorado and Vermont are codifying the right to abortion.
But winning will ultimately require a fifty state strategy, with a Democratic Senate, willing to reform or end the filibuster to codify Roe v. Wade, protect voting rights, and protect the right to organize nationwide.
America needs a national pro-democracy movement to stop the anti-democracy movement now underway - a pro-democracy movement committed to helping candidates everywhere, including in state-level races.
This is where you come in. Volunteer for pro-democracy candidates, and if you don't have time, contribute to their campaigns.
This is not a battle of left vs. right. It is a battle between democracy and autocracy.
Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor and Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley, has a new film, "Inequality for All," to be released September 27. He blogs at www.robertreich.org.