beginning my response to mark smith's american business and political power for tomorrow, i thought of tony kushner's commencement address at vassar in 2002: "you are the citizen of a flawed but actual democracy," he said.
i went back to read the thing again and it is as good as it has always been, which is to say: really fucking good. so smart and inspiring!
and also, the perfect frame for my beef with smith, who manages to show (golly, what a surprise) that americans live in an actual democracy, then basically refuses to address the extent to which that democracy may be flawed. seriously: are there people out there who doubt that public opinion influences policy in the US? how is that an interesting thesis for a book? and would it not be more productive, not to mention more debatable, to investigate control of public opinon?