Synopses & Reviews
The former special assistant for legislative affairs to President Clinton, president of the American Constitution Society, and author of the “damn fine” (Elle) Under the Bus shows how the left can undo the right’s damage and take the country back.
Despite representing the beliefs of a minority of the American public on many issues, conservatives are in power not just in Washington, DC, but also in state capitals and courtrooms across the country. They got there because, while progressives fought to death over the nuances of policy and to bring attention to specific issues, conservatives focused on simply gaining power by gaming our democracy. They understood that policy follows power, not the other way around.
Now, in a sensational new book, Caroline Fredrickson — who has had a front-row seat on the political drama in DC for decades while working to shape progressive policies as special assistant for legislative affairs to President Clinton, chief of staff to Senator Maria Cantwell, deputy chief of staff to Senator Tom Daschle, and president of the American Constitution Society — argues that it’s time for progressives to focus on winning. She shows us how we can learn from the right by having the determination to focus on judicial elections, state power, and voter laws without stooping to their dishonest, rule-breaking tactics. We must be ruthless in thinking through how work to change the rules of the game to regain power, expand the franchise, end voter suppression, win judicial elections, and fight for transparency and fairness in our political system, and Fredrickson shows us how.
“How can we make change to ensure access to the vote for all Americans, build a more equitable democracy, and win on progressive issues? The Democracy Fix offers provocative new ideas to achieve these goals and more. A must-read for anyone who cares about a progressive future.” Vanita Gupta, president and CEO, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
“A timely, important book on a topic that has never been more relevant. Fredrickson uses her brilliant mind and legal expertise to make a compelling case for the urgency of democracy reform.” Cecile Richards, former president, Planned Parenthood
“Fredrickson exposes the powerful, wealthy string-pullers manipulating American politics with dark money, fake science, front groups, and — increasingly — amenable judges. Knowledge is power, and this book will help empower us to reclaim our country.” Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, author of Captured: The Corporate Infiltration of American Democracy
“A cogent, timely, and urgent analysis of what ails American democracy, coupled with a thoughtful, effective prescription for how we defend this bedrock of our nation’s value system.” Stacey Abrams, former Georgia House Minority Leader and founder and chair of Fair Fight Action
“A call to action for her left-of-center colleagues....Fredrickson pulls no punches about the amount of effort it will take for the progressive wing of the Democratic party to regain significant power at the national level in this well-conceived, timely offering on countering the current political environment.” Library Journal
About the Author
Caroline Fredrickson is the president of the American Constitution Society (ACS), a senior fellow at Demos, and the author of Under the Bus: How Working Women Are Being Run Over and the forthcoming The Democracy Fix: How to Win the Fight for Fair Rules, Fair Courts, and Fair Elections (both from The New Press). She has been widely published on a range of legal and constitutional issues and is a frequent guest on television and radio shows. Before joining ACS, Caroline served as the director of the ACLU's Washington legislative office and as general counsel and legal director of NARAL Pro-Choice America. In addition, Caroline was chief of staff to Senator Maria Cantwell and deputy chief of staff to the then Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle. During the Clinton administration, she served as special assistant to the president for legislative affairs. She lives in Silver Spring, Maryland.