Why did Americans tune out of democracy? I don’t think any of the old answers — millennials are dumb! — really hold water. I think the answer is much simpler. Who can afford it? Democracy is hard work. It takes time, energy, commitment, money. These are all things Americans have been bled dry of, thanks to capitalism weaponizing jobs. If you’re working eighty hours a week for a shrinkin income — who has energy for democracy? So the first way that America failed at being a republic, which was the simplest, was that the price of predatory capitalism was that no one but elites or extremists, really, could afford to do the hard work of civic participation.