Dissent is one thing. Activism is another.
Politics is necessarily a dirty business. All of the theoretical discussion about how to make politics more elegant, clean or virtuous is amusing because it assumes that politics will ever be elegant, clean or virtuous.
This is meaningless chatter.
The real discussion is how to move forward with the system we have. Sure if there are specific and realistic ways to make the political system better-- than fine. Personally I think the ideas here; open primaries and term limits for examples are bad ideas that will make the system worse.
My interest is how do we get to a decent health care system, civil rights, social justice, marriage equality, better schools and a sane foreign policy.
The answer is obvious. First elect more Democrats.
Then we can work within the Democratic party to move them in more progressive directions as well as growing grass roots support for progressive programs.
Politics is about pragmatism. Let's move forward.