Citizenism: We the People, Reclaiming the Role of the Citizen


As Americans, We the People continue to be troubled by an array of problems facing our nation and the failure of the political system to address them with the public's interest in mind. Trust in our governing institutions has reached historic lows as Congress’ approval ratings sinks into the single digits. A recent poll conducted by Pew found that a significant portion of the US population believe that the current function of government is the most serious problem confronting the US. Furthermore they have concerns about the future and the ability of the government to address many problems confronting the nation and the world. The public’s voice is increasingly drowned out as political leaders become ever more dependent on a relatively small group of large donors, passionate ideologues and special interests. As a result, more and more Americans have been questioning if our political system (Tax) is rigged.

As a nation we the people are facing major challenges that our political representatives fail to address adequately:

A few of the symptoms of the pathology of the current US political system.

Distrust and alienation from the federal government and the toxic political process

A failed immigration system

A corrupt election system

The fiscal health of the nation: The budget, debt and deficit

Unfairness of the tax system

Inequality of opportunity, income, wealth and employment

An unjust, dysfunctional and expensive healthcare system

An out of control legal system, police and prison system

Failure to respond to climate change

The surveillance state: Privacy and dignity under assault by government and corporations

A decaying infrastructure of roads, and bridges

A declining public educational system out of reach for many Americans

The opioid crisis


Americans are viewing their federal government as removed, and not addressing their needs. Many citizens have a different view, believing that the government in encroaching on their freedoms. On the national level, gridlock and hyper-partisanship have paralyzed our governing bodies. It is believed that our current congress is one of the least productive congress in recent history and a political climate that makes problem solving all but impossible. A The raising inequality and polarization have been a source of great concern to the future of our nation. The role of citizen, claimed by Judge Brandeis to be “the most important public office in the country” has been relegated to consumers of increasing election cycle messaging aimed to potentiate “mutual animosities”.

It can be different.


Citizenism is an ambitious, multi year experiment that seeks to reclaim the centrality of We the People of The United States in public discourse and focus of government policy. Furthermore, the project’s goal is to explore and invigorate the reasons for our government, as stated in the Preamble to the US Constitution :

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America”.

Citizenism builds on the arc of democracy that has evolved in the United States. It is guided by the vision articulated in the Declaration of Independence, modern understanding of human nature, the challenges confronted by our modern society and the evolving digital age.

Citizenism responds to a troubling array of problems facing our nation’s political system. By focusing on the vision that animated our founders and has energized Americans to achieve greatness.

Citizenism is inspired by the legacy of James Madison, often referred to as the “father of the constitution”. James Madison’s contribution to our evolving nation and the structure and the nature of the government was unparalleled. His efforts leading up to the constitutional convention, during and the ratification process, and the early nation were crucial for creating the structure that allowed the US to persist for over 200 years.

Citizenism is inspired by the belief that We the People can do better.

Citizenism is needed to address the challenges and opportunities of the 21st Century. An operating system that leverages that scientific and technical advances and most importantly the better understanding of the science of human nature and happiness and the ingredients of well being.

Citizenism is the recognition and the exploration of the role of the citizen within the political ecosystem and the body politic. It studies the nature of the citizen rights, responsibilities and the influences that make the modern citizen.

Citizenism leverages an understanding the complexity of the body politic to provide a framework, a toolbox of sorts, for engagement with relevant stakeholders.

Citizenism is reclaiming the citizen from subjects, consumer, taxpayer, voter, elector and related roles that have defined Americans.

The Citizenism Vision

We envision a process that brings about a “modern” understanding of human nature and the constitution, provides a framework and tools to leverage technology and scientific insights, embrace crowdsourcing and other collaborative activities to address challenges in our society. Take Part with Citizenism

We invite anyone who shares our vision and mission to take part in our work, suggest topics, pose questions, write posts, and most importantly, contribute to the conversation. With so much at stake for our nation, it’s time to stop kvetching and start acting.


Citizenism in more detail

Learn about and consider helping to develop the Citizenism strategic plan

Shrink the Government

Psychological insight about our politics