cover image Unrig: How to Fix Our Broken Democracy

Unrig: How to Fix Our Broken Democracy

Daniel G. Newman and George O’Connor. First Second, $28.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-25-029530-9

Political activist Newman presents an enlightening and alarming—but ultimately hopeful—take on the causes of what he sees as America’s ailing democracy and offers strategies to repair the damage. He breaks down the ways in which corporations and “dark money” influence political candidates and electoral outcomes: “The rules let politicians choose their voters, instead of the other way around.” Newman lays out his theory that the agenda of billionaires such as the Koch brothers and Betsy DeVos is to render government virtually irrelevant by sowing partisan gridlock, hollowing out safety nets like social security, and packing courts with operatives (such as Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts) who will actively rule in favor of voter suppression and gerrymandering. In opposition to these far-right schemes, Newman highlights progressive political initiatives designed to boost citizen participation, including the “Democracy Vouchers” program implemented in Seattle in 2015, which provides vouchers to voters so they can donate to candidates of their choice, and ranked-choice voting, currently implemented in Maine and several U.S. cities. The energetic drawings by O’Connor (the Olympians series) effectively bolster Newman’s occasionally packed-in text throughout, ending with an effective call to arms. This cogent plea for democracy is fueled with an urgency that should initiate debate and inspire action. [em](July) [/em]