The Struggle for the Soul of America: Where Do We Go from Here?

Last week’s blog featured Rick Hubbard’s 16-month walk across the country “to sound the alarm to the American people about the urgent need to fix our democracy.” (See Unfortunately, this past week Rick had to suspend his Walk.

Rick was about 40 miles east of Flagstaff, Arizona when he got word that Sally, his partner of 30 years, was very ill. As important as the Walk is to Rick, he knew that he had to go back to Vermont immediately to support her. At the same time, Rick vowed that he would return to his Walk as soon as he could. When that will be is anybody’s guess.

Prior to Rick’s suspending his Walk, I spoke to him about focusing the message of his cross-country journey. We agreed that the freedom to vote was the crucial point he needed to promote on his Walk. That is, to fix our democracy we must protect and expand the freedom to vote, which includes at least these elements:

  1. The right of all citizens to vote and have their votes counted,
  2. Open primaries where everyone can vote regardless of party affiliation,
  3. The elimination of gerrymandering,
  4. The elimination of voter suppression efforts,
  5. Ranked choice voting (For an explanation of this process, see
  6. A Required minimum of 14 days of early voting all across the country,
  7. Easy access to drop boxes for voting in all districts, and
  8. Elimination of the Electoral College and the adoption of the national popular vote for president and vice president.

The goal is to make the freedom to vote a fundamental right just as public education is in our country.

The outcome of 2024 election will be critical to the future of our nation. It will determine whether the country moves further toward autocracy and fascism, or more in the direction of a functioning democracy. Guaranteeing and expanding the freedom to vote will go a long way toward the latter objective.

Still, it is obvious that we will not achieve the eight elements listed above in the next two years. Rather than scattering our energy and resources by trying to accomplish all eight, I believe we would be better off concentrating on two or three in the short time before the 2024 election. Which two or three to go for would be determined by which ones are:

  1. most likely to gain the greatest popular support,
  2. most likely to be achieved, and
  3. most likely to secure our democracy.

I’d like to know what you think. Please email me your choices in ranked order at and I will publish the results in next week’s blog. To build a strong democracy movement, we need to establish our priorities. What are our most pressing goals? If you feel something is missing from the above list, feel free to add it. I look forward to hearing from you.

Bruce Berlin

A retired, public sector ethics attorney, Berlin is the author of Breaking Big Money’s Grip on America (See, the founder of New Mexicans for Money Out of Politics, a former U.S. Institute of Peace fellow, and the founder and former executive director of The Trinity Forum for International Security and Conflict Resolution. He can be reached at

Subscribe to this blog at Join the movement to revive our democracy. Together we can save the soul of America.