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What's New

Distracted as we might be by Trump tweets, impeachment, and fears of war with Iran, the Koch network and associates, operating out of sight, continue to take over even more of our country: first the Republican party, then the Senate and state governments, now the Supreme Court and the integrity of the 2020 electoral process.

As the new year begins, we are pleased by an increasing number of groups and candidates who recognize that democracy itself is in dire jeopardy.  Pro-democracy agendas are on the rise, including the defense of voting rights, opposition to dark money, and exposure of legal corporate corruption.

Yet the vast, highly funded and well organized Koch and other billionaires patronage network continues to lead the attack and use its control of much of our government to split asylum-seeking immigrant families, imprison children, destroy government agencies, spread climate denial, while killing protections for air and water, promoting ultra-right wing judges, closing women's health and abortion clinics, attacking  Obamacare, disenfranchising voters, bribing universities to brainwash our youth, and employing Fox News to disseminate lies and misinformation that millions of Americans, including Trump, believe.


As one of the few groups dedicated to exposing the Koch network in all its horror, we are pleased to report that our website and email list are growing,   We're updating our website regularly, so take a look and meet our organizing members. 

Founding member Frank Kashner spoke to several Massachusetts groups about Nancy MacLean's book Democracy in Chains and what can be done to save our democracy. Lively Q&A's followed. See the slides here, or watch the video. If you're interested in having a presentation at your local church, school, book club, or other venue, contact us.

In this issue, we introduce a new regular feature: member Rod Kessler's Reader's Guide to Democracy in Chains. This month, Rod reviews Chapter 7, in which MacLean illustrates how Buchanan’s ideas could be translated into right-wing public policies that the Koch network would eventually help implement. An illustration of applying Buchanan’s principles lies in his response to campus unrest in the late 1960s and early 1970s at UCLA and Virginia Tech—the subject of Chapter 7, “A World Gone Mad." Read this feature

Save the Dates!
Nancy MacLean, author of Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America, will make two local appearances. Maclean is an award-winning scholar whose latest book has been called “perhaps the best explanation to date of the roots of the political divide that threatens to irrevocably alter American government.” (Booklist)
MacLean will describe how the libertarian right, funded by the Koch brothers, has influenced American politics to radically change the rules of governance and fundamentally reshape society.

March 5, 2020, 7:00pm  Salem State University, Ellison Campus Center, Veterans’ Memorial Hall, 352 Lafayette St, Salem, MA 01970
March 6, 2020, 7:30pm  First Parish Church, 20 Lexington Road, Concord, MA 01742 

For a more modest presentation of MacLean's ideas:
February 25, 2020, 7:00pm Frank Kashner is speaking at the Salem Town Democratic Party meeting at 135 Lafayette Street, Salem, MA.
What We're Reading
In a new Politico excerpt of Kenneth P Vogel's book Big Money, read what happens when you try to cover the new oligarchs of American politics. Vogel's view: It’s not just that the money pouring into our politics is greater than it's been at any other time in our nation’s history, it’s that the spending is fundamentally changing how campaigns are run, which issues are debated and which candidates represent their parties.
Make it Viral!
Enchaining Democracy with Nancy MacLean
What contributes to the rise of libertarian notions and right-wing political power in the U.S.?  Engage in this discussion with Nancy MacLean, author of Democracy in Chains, widely regarded as the “must-read” book about libertarianism.  
Help make this video go viral by sharing it on social media
Pro-Democracy Groups to Join or help
Our team is researching and vetting groups who share our vision of the importance of protecting our democracy. We will update this list regularly; please contact us if you have a group we should know about.
  • Indivisible The Indivisible Project's mission is to cultivate a grassroots movement of literally thousands of local Indivisible groups to elect progressive leaders, realize bold progressive policies, rebuild our democracy, and defeat the Trump agenda. Find and join a group near you. www.indivisible.org
  • The Movement Voter Project works to strengthen progressive power at all levels of government by helping donors support hundreds of organizations that both turn out unlikely voters and organize communities to grow their power. www.movement.vote
  • Unkoch My Campus The student led Koch-fighting organization. UnKoch My Campus has helped local activists in more than 30 states. Unkochmycampus.org
How You Can Help
  • Help us build our mailing list by telling your bookclub, church or library about unchaindemocracy.org.
  • Ask your contacts to subscribe to this newsletter.
  • Post a link to our site on your Facebook page.
  • Donate to help with administrative and speaker event costs.
  • Visit the websites of activist organizations listed here and on our website, contact them and join in!
  • Post about us on your social media account.
  • Visit our website and engage with the content. We want to hear from you!
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