There is much in this New Yorker article, A Political Philosopher Is Hopeful About the Democrats, that makes sense to me as one who lives in fly-over country. I think the desire to be respected may be stronger than of democracy. Our predicament is due to an avalanche of decisions starting with Reagan and continuing through Clinton, Bush, and Obama. Unfortunately the mode of politics is to gain power and then get all you want while you can so there is no real focus on core needs.