The things that ordinary citizens do politically tend to revolve around the idea of winning elections. In real terms, we vote, assist in campaigns, and donate money to get people who will represent our will into office. When we seek to educate other people politically, it is usually with the unspoken intent that they will see things — and vote — our way. Even when we sign petitions or protest we are, in effect, threatening our representatives with electoral consequences. The efficacy of all of this, unfortunately, depends on the democratic institutions of our Republic functioning as designed.