Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Rights Stealth Plan for America; and The Federalist Society: Shifting the U.S. Legal Landscape to the Right

Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Rights Stealth Plan for America

The spectacle of President Donald Trump and the palace intrigue in the White House has served daily to distract people from the political strategy and accomplishments of the radical right, which is taking over the Republican Party.

Over time, the GOP has been transformed into operation conducting a concerted effort to curb democratic rule in favor of capitalist interests in every branch of government, whatever the consequences. It is marching ever closer to the ultimate goal of reshaping the Constitution to protect monied interests. This gradual take over of a major political party happened steadily, over several decades, and often in plain sight.

Duke University Professor Nancy MacLean exposes the architecture of this change and its ultimate aim. She has written that both my research and my observations as a citizen lead me to believe American democracy is in peril.

Guest ” Professor Nancy MacLean, whose new book, Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Rights Stealth Plan for America, has been described by Publishers Weekly as a thoroughly researched and gripping narrative [and] a feat of American intellectual and political history. Booklist called it perhaps the best explanation to date of the roots of the political divide that threatens to irrevocably alter American government.The author of four other books, including Freedom is Not Enough: The Opening of the American Workplace (2006) called by the Chicago Tribune contemporary history at its best, and Behind the Mask of Chivalry: The Making of the Second Ku Klux Klan,named a New York Times noteworthy book of 1994, MacLean is the William H. Chafe Professor of History and Public Policy.


The Federalist Society: Shifting the U.S. Legal Landscape to the Right

With the recent nomination of conservative attorney Brett Kavanaugh to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, the United States Supreme Court will have a majority of authoritarian anti-democratic jurists who support a powerful executive. At the same time, Donald Trump has wasted no time in appointing more conservatives to federal judgeships.

More and more were hearing that the once little-known Federalist Society is behind these appointments. But its now a new development. The Society was formed at Yale University in 1981, and has steadily and quietly been placing its lawyer members in positions of power in the government and judiciary.

In their 2013 book, The Federalist Society: How Conservatives Took the Law Back from Liberals, attorneys Michael Avery and Danielle McLaughlin track the movements of this small group of conservative law students and lawyers and their increasing influence. The Federalist Society has lawyer chapters in every major city in the United States and student chapters in every accredited law school. Members include economic conservatives, social conservatives, Christian conservatives, and libertarians. One of the things that has made the Federalist Society so very effective is their big picture agenda. While they may have differences of opinion on a range of issues, they have successfully put those aside to advance a far-reaching, long-lasting, and broad conservative agenda. Their agenda is chipping away at social gains made since the 1930s. Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security are on the block. So is Roe v. Wage. Citizen United, holding that corporations are persons and money is free speech, and the union-breaking Janus decision are just the beginning. Other attacks on democracy include voter suppression, voter ID laws, and gerrymandering.

Guest ” Attorney Michael Avery, the former president of the National Lawyers Guild, and is an expert in the areas of constitutional law and police misconduct.

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