Miles Rapoport

Miles Rapoport is president of Demos.

Recent Articles

Challenging the Myths of the Libertarian Right

(Flickr/Gage Skidmore)
The emergence of Rand Paul as a leading contender for the Republican presidential nomination marks an important turning point: Extreme libertarianism has entered the mainstream of American politics. This shift has been coming for 30 years, a period of growing attacks on government as "the enemy" combined with extolling the laissez-faire idea that the free market can solve all our problems. These attacks have not emerged out of thin air. Billions of dollars have been spent by corporations, foundations, and wealthy individuals to fund a large conservative policy and media infrastructure on the right, led by think tanks like the Heritage Foundation, the Cato Institute, and the American Enterprise Institute. In recent years, though, the right has moved even further to the right, as more base Republican voters have embraced libertarian ideology and deep-pocketed funders like the Koch brothers have put more resources behind promoting this extreme worldview. Meanwhile, a new generation of...

A New American "demos"?

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Standing on the mall Monday among the great and diverse crowd who came to celebrate the second inauguration of the President, I reacted strongly to two aspects of the day. The first was to the feeling produced by the crowd, to the moment itself. The second was something else, something perfectly clear: a new American “ demos ” has arrived. The demos of today, on display on the mall, was remarkable—a sea of people, supremely diverse in race, in age, in income levels, but united in the joy of the moment and in an ongoing sense of possibility for the future. It was a demos that stands in the cold and in long lines, not just at the inauguration but on Election Day through the night to exercise their rights as citizens. This is a new demos that demands that its diversity be more than simply cosmetic , but reflected in public policies that are more broad-based, inclusive, and committed to equality than those who have come before. And that breadth was fully reflected in the President's...

Understand the Democracy Is the Core Issue

This piece is part of the Prospect' s series on progressives' strategy over the next 40 years. To read the introduction, click here . Making our democracy vibrant, inclusive, and effective has to be a critical part of the progressive project for the next 40 years. Progressives need to take two leaps of understanding. The first is that the groups already working on individual democracy issues must embrace a multi-faceted democracy agenda that includes voting rights, campaign-finance reform, and consistent civic engagement. The second is that progressives working on other issues need to recognize that the distortions and failures of our democracy are a constant and daunting impediment to better outcomes in every issue arena. Democracy is not a side issue; it cannot just belong to “money and politics activists” or “voting-rights activists.” It is core to our success in the future. Here’s what must be done. Let everyone in. The number of roadblocks our system places in front of citizens...