Rootstrikers is an organization pushing for a movement to end corruption in American government as we know it. I say "as we know it" because, as Lessig makes clear in the interview I'm about to quote, it's not about just skeezy people taking bribes, it's a systemic problem:
It doesn’t mean that Congress is taking bribes. Indeed, I think as my colleague Dennis [F.] Thompson puts it, this is the cleanest Congress in the history of Congress in that sense. But it means that they’ve allowed themselves to become dependent on an influence which is inconsistent with the intended dependence our Congress was supposed to have. So if the Framers conceived of a Congress depended upon the people alone, we’ve built a Congress dependent upon the funders of campaigns as well as upon the people. So it’s a competing dependency, and it’s also a conflicting dependency, because the funders are not the people, they don’t represent the people, they’re not in any sense representative. So that’s a corruption of the intended dependence, and in that sense it’s a corruption.
I've been following Rootstrikers for a while, and it looks like they're gearing up a bit more intensely than when I last checked. Or, they're gaining steam, at least.
It occurred to me to look into it again, after a couple months of not checking up, because Lessig is going to be speaking at an event at my school on Oct. 3. And, since I found it very difficult to track down information about the event:
[important]On October 3rd, 2013, an event called the Money in Politics Forum will take place at Northern Essex Community College (NECC) on the Haverhill Campus, in the Spurk (C) Building, in Lecture Hall A. The publicized guests are Dr. Lawrence Lessig (of Rootstrikers), Jeffrey Clemens, and Mass State Senator Susan Tucker as moderator.
Important and relevant keywords include the names of the sponsor organizations: The League of Women Voters of Greater Haverhill, The Contemporary Affairs Club of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill Matters, The Democratic City Committee of Haverhill, and the Repbulican City Committee of Haverhill.
The event is at 7pm, again on Oct. 3, 2013, and takes place at 100 Elliot Street, Haverhill, MA, in the Spurk building, also known as the C building, in Lecture Hall A, which is strait ahead when you come in through the big doors in the middle of the building.
Source: the League of Women Voters of Greater Haverhill website. (Thanks!)[/important]
Right. That should take care of the problem of people trying to google the event and failing, because the phrase Lawrence Lessig NECC shouldn't fail to produce this result.
Back to the interview: There were a couple points that really stuck out as relevant to me. One was that Lessig is pushing for a 3-year solution to this problem. It's very encouraging to hear that, and he totally nails down why:
[...] You know there’s a big, quote, “campaign finance reform movement” that envisions a 20-year struggle that gets us to the place that we finally have enough votes to pass fundamental reform to the system. I think the 20-year struggle is certain to lose. Certain to lose. We’ve got to think about a fight that’s a kind of 3-year fight. We’ve got to figure out how to engineer a 3-year fight because that’s the only thing that could possibly win. [...]
Also, apparently New Hampshire is going to be super important. 'Cause we always have the first US presidential primaries, so we can shape the course of the election. I'm looking forward to taking part in that:
[...] One thing that’s interesting about the New Hampshire Constitution is that it explicitly says the people of New Hampshire have an obligation to rebel. And so the idea is we’re bringing people into New Hampshire in these off years to say to New Hampire citizens, “you have an obligation to make this the issue the New Hampshire primary turns on.” [...]
Altogether, potentially good news for the future of America! Or, at least, I'll know in less than a decade whether or not we're totally screwed.