A manual for saving democracy from its current “existential threat.”
After the 2016 presidential election, wife-and-husband team Greenberg and Levin used the insights they learned while working as congressional staffers who “could demystify Congress and show people how scaring the crap out of their own representatives was their most effective tool for resisting Trump” and his many enablers within Congress. The online guide they created went viral and became the blueprint for this book. Importantly, the authors understand, at a deep psychological level, elected officials’ obsession with attaining reelection. Encouraging constituents in each congressional district to band together in real life—not only online—served as the foundation for Greenberg and Levin’s 19-point guide. “Individuals have opinions; groups have power,” they write. As digital viewers of the guide began banding together to form groups dubbed “Indivisible chapters” (there are now more than 5,000), the authors realized they needed to quit their jobs in order to manage the groundswell of resistance. Soon, Greenberg and Levin had received enough donations to hire a central staff dedicated to advising the locally based Indivisible chapters. From bitter experience, the authors knew that tactics developed previously by tea party advocates and other far-right constituents demonstrated effectiveness in shaking up elected politicians of all ideologies. Near the opening of this book, readers will find all 19 points set out on two consecutive pages, and they include “Don’t Be Boring,” “Pictures, or It Didn’t Happen,” “Don’t Get Defensive About Your Privilege,” and “Primaries Are Good If We Make Them Good.” The remainder of the book takes each lesson in turn. Some of the tactics are meant to help attain short-term policy initiatives. Ultimately, however, the tactics, used wisely, are meant to defeat Trumpism by replacing his supporters on Election Day. The authors clearly explain how a long history of civic engagement in the U.S. can be reignited leading up to the 2020 election.
The subtitle says it all: a useful guide to moving forward after Trumpism.