What are the main challenges facing democracy today?
The main challenge facing democracy is that we’ve allowed wealthy people to exert an insane level of power. We think that rich people are smarter than poor people, that they know more, that they’ll help us get rich if they’re in power. If it wasn’t obvious in 1870 or 1910 or right now, rich people will spend vast sums on themselves and on maintaining hermetic control of government, no matter how many people die from epidemics (plural), air pollution, heat, flooding, gun violence, domestic abuse, childbirth, malnutrition, and so many more tragically preventable events.
White supremacy is another destructive force, especially when wealthy people use it to maintain power. Poor white people have much more in common with poor black and brown people, yet white supremacy allows the rich and powerful (is there a powerful person who isn’t rich?) to cultivate a completely illusory feeling that underclass white people should entrust their lives, their children’s lives, to wealthy people. Not only do the wealthiest gain supporters, but they also undermine opposition by reducing numbers and by leaving the most voiceless to protest this outrage.