The Democracy Fix

How to Win the Fight for Fair Rules, Fair Courts, and Fair Elections

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

“I took furious notes while reading Under the Bus. . . . ‘Furious’ because I had to write fast to keep up with the information Fredrickson packs in, and furious because every new thing I learned made the hair on my neck stand on end.” —Katie McDonough, Salon

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 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 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
“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
“Caroline Fredrickson has devoted her life to righting wrongs. Her latest book provides a blueprint for others with a similar calling.”
—Eva Paterson, president and co-founder, Equal Justice Society
“Caroline Fredrickson is the rare legal scholar whose research and insights are matched by practical experience in government and policy, which makes her ideas for revitalizing democracy especially relevant, whether one agrees with them or not. At a time when Americans across the spectrum are questioning how money, inequality and corporate power may undercut their voice, this is a book that confronts how the rules are being gamed—and what to do about it.”
—Ari Melber, MSNBC host and chief legal correspondent
“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

News and Reviews

Washington Post

“Fredrickson does a persuasive job of making connections that span decades.”

Books by Caroline Fredrickson

Under the Bus
How Working Women Are Being Run Over

Caroline Fredrickson

Goodreads Reviews