On Wednesday, China\u0026#039;s Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington, DC and made headlines for more or less telling the U.S. government not to interfere in matters concerning the pro-democracy movement that has engulfed the Chinese-administered territory of Hong Kong.“The Chinese government has very firmly and clearly stated its position,\u0022 stated Wang Yi as he stood beside Kerry outside the State Department building. \u0022I believe for any country, for any society, no one would allow those illegal acts that violate public order. That’s the situation in the United States and that’s the same situation in Hong Kong.\u0022\u0022In America, we have accepted [democracy corrupted by big money] as as American as apple pie.\u0022 —Lawrence LessigFor his part, Kerry offered the Obama administration\u0026#039;s message that it objects to aspects of China\u0026#039;s anti-democratic policies in Hong Kong, specifically their refusal for universal suffrage, and said he hopes \u0022that the Hong Kong authorities will exercise restraint and respect the protestors’ right to express their views peacefully.”And though it\u0026#039;s a well-worn talking point—articulated here by the Guardian— that the US has \u0022always walked a delicate tightrope in its relations with China, eager to improve trade and economic ties with the world’s second largest economy while also pressing for greater human rights\u0022—Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig, in an op-ed on Wednesday, argues that what\u0026#039;s most striking dynamic about the situation in Hong Kong is not how leaders like Wang Yi and Kerry are delicatedly skirting the realities of their own self-interest, but why voters in the U.S. don\u0026#039;t recognize how much they have in common with the tens of thousands of Hong Kong residents who have recognized how corrupt and nonexistence their democratic has become.In Lessig\u0026#039;s opinion, when it comes to calling for democratic reforms and amassing in large numbers in the streets, U.S. voters \u0022should be protesting, too.\u0022Invoking the legacy of William \u0022Boss\u0022 Tweedy, known for masterminding New York and national politics on behalf of\u0026nbsp; his fellow elites in 19th century America, Lessig writes that contemporary voters in the United States have become as disempowered by the role of big money in electoral politics (he calls it the \u0022green primary\u0022) as have Hong Kong citizens under mainland China\u0026#039;s one-party rule.\u0022I don\u0026#039;t care who does the electing, so long as I get to do the nominating,\u0022 Tweed famously said. And for Lessig, that is the mindset that draws a straight line between China\u0026#039;s Communist Party leaders and the corporate and wealthy elites in the United States who have so radically captured American democracy in recent decades.Lessig writes:Of course, we don\u0026#039;t have a democracy \u0022dominated by a pro-Beijing business and political elite.\u0022 But as a massive empirical study by Princeton\u0026#039;s Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page published just last month shows, remove the word \u0022pro-Beijing,\u0022 and the charge translates pretty well.America\u0026#039;s government is demonstrably responsive to the \u0022economic elite and organized business interests,\u0022 Gilens and Page found, while \u0022the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.\u0022 Boss Tweed would have been impressed.The \u0022green primary\u0022 isn\u0026#039;t a formal bar to election. But it is certainly an effective bar. There isn\u0026#039;t a single political analyst in America today who doesn\u0026#039;t look first to whether a candidate for Congress has the necessary financial support of the relevant funders. That money isn\u0026#039;t enough, and it certainly doesn\u0026#039;t guarantee victory. (Only 94 percent of candidates with more money win.) But no candidate ignores the money, or is ignorant of the views of the tiny fraction of the 1 percent that provides it. That\u0026#039;s not perfect control, but it turns out to be control enough to weaken the ability of ordinary Americans to have something other than a \u0022non-significant impact upon public policy.\u0022The surprise in the Hong Kong plan is not that it fits Boss Tweed\u0026#039;s mold. The surprise is the reaction of her students, and now people. To imagine a proportionate number of Americans -- 5 million -- striking against our own version of Tweedism is to imagine the first steps of a revolution. But in America, we don\u0026#039;t protest our \u0022democracy with Chinese characteristics.\u0022 In America, we have accepted it as as American as apple pie.