Their dysfunction comes from too much government, not too little.
With the first round of Democratic Party debates behind us, Americans have now heard from their candidates why they think they should run the country.
One theme permeates the messages of all these Democrats.
America is not fair, and they aspire to be president to make things fair.
Elizabeth Warren: "When you've got an economy that does great for those with money and isn't doing great for everyone else, that is corruption, pure and simple. We need to call it out. We need to attack it head on."
Kamala Harris: "For too long, the rules have been written in the favor of the people who have the most and not in favor of the people who work the most. ... on day one, I will repeal that tax bill that benefits the top 1 percent and the biggest corporations of America."
Bernie Sanders: "Well, President Trump, you're not standing up for working families ... 83 percent of your tax benefits go to the top 1 percent. That's how we beat Trump: We expose him for the fraud that he is."
There are, of course, more candidates and more issues. But this generally sums it all up.
Per the Democrats, America is rigged for the wealthy; everyone else is a getting a raw deal; and we need government to straighten everything out.
The challenge for President Trump and Republicans in the upcoming elections is to make clear to voters that the Democrats' message is not true and to communicate what is true.
Who are these wealthy Americans who, according to Democrats, control everything?
The answer is that those who are wealthy are changing all the time, because contrary to what we hear from Democrats, America works.
Every year, Forbes Magazine publishes a list of the 400 wealthiest Americans.
In 2018, 43 percent of those on this list were not on it 10 years before.
Forbes notes who among these 400 inherited their wealth and who are self-made.
In 1984, according to Forbes, less than half of those on the list were self-made.
In 2018, 67 percent "created their own fortunes."
"Over the past 30-plus years," says Forbes, "the number of Forbes 400 members who have forged their own path, using entrepreneurial capitalism as a means to attain a vast fortune, has increased dramatically. This tells us many things, but one should stand taller than the rest: The American Dream, it seems, is alive and well."
What about all the tax unfairness that Democrats tell us about?
According to the Tax Foundation, in 2016, the latest data available, taxpayers earning in the top 1 percent paid 37.3 percent of all federal taxes. Those earning in the top 5 percent paid 58.2 percent of all federal taxes. Those earning in the bottom 50 percent paid 3 percent of all federal taxes.
At less than 250 years old, the USA is one of the planet's youngest countries. Yet at $20.5 trillion gross domestic product, its economy is by far the world's largest. It's 60 percent larger than China's, the second-largest economy, and more than 400 percent larger than Japan's, the third-largest.
Those who want to lead the country should be talking about what has created America's enormous wealth and success, how to keep it going and how to assure that as many Americans as possible participate.
Freedom and entrepreneurial capitalism have been the mother's milk of the magnificent American success story. The poor are not poor because the rich are rich or because the system is rigged. If we want to help them, let's honestly examine why they are not participating and try to help them help themselves.
Certainly, many things don't work as well as they could. Health care, education, housing our entitlement programs. Almost invariably, their dysfunction comes from too much government, not too little.
If Republicans convey these truths in 2020, they will win.