David Daley – UNRIGGED: How Americans Are Battling Back to Save Democracy


What happens to a representative democracy when one party is no longer committed to the foundational notion everyone must be represented, equally? This is one of the questions  David Daley addresses in his latest book, UNRIGGED: HOW AMERICANS ARE BATTLING BACK TO SAVE DEMOCRACY.

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David Daley is a senior fellow for FairVote and the author of Ratf**ked: The True Story Behind the Secret Plan to Steal America’s Democracy, which helped spark the recent drive to reform gerrymandering. Dave’s second book, Unrigged: How Americans Are Battling Back to Save Democracy, chronicles the victories and defeats in state efforts to reform elections and uphold voting rights.

He is the former editor-in-chief of Salon.com, and the former CEO and publisher of the Connecticut News Project. He is a digital media fellow at the Wilson Center for the Humanities and the Grady School of Journalism at the University of Georgia. His work has appeared in the New Yorker, The Washington Post, The Guardian, New York magazine, the Atlantic, the Boston Globe, Rolling Stone. When writing for the Hartford Courant, he helped identify Mark Felt as the “Deep Throat” source for Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.

Margaret Klein Salamon – FACING THE CLIMATE EMERGENCY: How to Transform Yourself with Climate Truth


Margaret Klein Salamon is the founder and Executive Director of The Climate Mobilization, a volunteer-powered organization that is working to initiate a WWII-scale mobilization to rapidly transform our economy to protect humanity and the living world. In that role she has helped catalyze a burgeoning worldwide climate emergency movement. More than 1,500 cities and counties around the world have now passed climate emergency declarations based on the climate emergency policy framework that The Climate Mobilization has developed and championed.

Margaret has doctorate in clinical psychology and a BA in social anthropology. She is the author of The Transformative Power of Climate Truth and Leading the Public into Emergency Mode. Her latest book, Facing the Climate Emergency: How to Transform Yourself with Climate Truth, has just been published by New Society Publishers.



Links to articles referenced in this interview:

Could a green new deal turn South Korea from climate villain to model?  https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/23/could-a-green-new-deal-turn-south-korea-from-climate-villain-to-model

EU pledges to raise €20bn a year to boost biodiversity    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/may/20/eu-pledges-20bn-a-year-on-boosting-biodiversity-aoe

Lockdowns trigger dramatic fall in global carbon emissions   https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/may/19/lockdowns-trigger-dramatic-fall-global-carbon-emissions

‘This Is Only the Beginning’: JPMorgan Chase Faces Investor Revolt Over Financing Climate Destruction      https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/05/19/only-beginning-jpmorgan-chase-faces-investor-revolt-over-financing-climate?cd-origin=rss&utm_term=AO&utm_campaign=Daily%20Newsletter&utm_content=email&utm_source=Daily%20Newsletter&utm_medium=Email

Rural Landowners, Farmers, and Conservation Groups Celebrate Court Victory Halting Risky Oil and Gas Giveaway of 150,000 Acres of Montana Public Lands             https://earthjustice.org/news/press/2020/news-rural-landowners-farmers-and-conservation-groups-celebrate-court-victory-halting-risky-oil-and-gas-giveaway?utm_source=crm&utm_medium=email&utm_term=newsletter&utm_campaign=200517_ForTheRecord_May2020&utm_content=ReadMore&curation=newsletter&emci=62705098-ad94-ea11-86e9-00155d03b5dd&emdi=a2549500-4d98-ea11-86e9-00155d03b5dd&ceid=75298

In a First, Renewable Energy Is Poised to Eclipse Coal in U.S.  https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/13/climate/coronavirus-coal-electricity-renewables.html?action=click&module=Well&pgtype=Homepage&section=Climate%20and%20Environment

‘Cleaner and greener’: Covid-19 prompts world’s cities to free public space of cars      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/18/cleaner-and-greener-covid-19-prompts-worlds-cities-to-free-public-space-of-cars

‘One Crisis Doesn’t Stop Because Another Starts’: 2,000+ Kids’ Shoes Form Climate/Covid Protest in London            https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/05/18/one-crisis-doesnt-stop-because-another-starts-2000-kids-shoes-form-climatecovid?cd-origin=rss&utm_term=AO&utm_campaign=Daily%20Newsletter&utm_content=email&utm_source=Daily%20Newsletter&utm_medium=Email

Climate Campaigners Applaud Biden on Vow to Pull Plug on Keystone XL Permit   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/05/18/climate-campaigners-applaud-biden-vow-pull-plug-keystone-xl-permit?cd-origin=rss&utm_term=AO&utm_campaign=Daily%20Newsletter&utm_content=email&utm_source=Daily%20Newsletter&utm_medium=Email

Andrew Cuomo Rejects Controversial Gas Pipeline, Handing Climate Activists A Victory            https://www.huffpost.com/entry/cuomo-williams-pipeline_n_5ebdbe5dc5b6c9c1874157a6

US fossil fuel giants set for a coronavirus bailout bonanza       https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/may/12/us-fossil-fuel-companies-coronavirus-bailout-oil-coal-fracking-giants-bond-scheme

Trump dismantles environmental protections under cover of coronavirus    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/may/10/trump-environmental-blitzkrieg-coronavirus

Trump seizes on pandemic to speed up opening of public lands to industry   https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/apr/30/public-lands-sale-trump-coronavirus-environmental-regulations

It Took A Pandemic To Prove Individual Actions Alone Won’t Solve The Climate Crisis          https://www.huffpost.com/entry/coronavirus-climate-change-individual-actions-fossil-fuels_n_5eb2adb9c5b6ae37c13bbb3a

Climate Change Is a Health Crisis, & Doctors Aren’t Prepared    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/climate-change-health-effects-medical-schools_n_5eb40a87c5b652c56473b939

Daniel Q. Gillion THE LOUD MINORITY; Why Protests Matter in American Democray

Daniel Q. Gillian is Julie Beren Platt and Marc E. Platt Presidential Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania. His research interests focus on racial and ethnic politics, political behavior, political institutions, public policy and the American Presidency.


Professor Gillion’s first book, The Political Power of Protest: Minority Activism and Shifts in Public Policy, demonstrates the influential role of protest to garner a response from each branch of the federal government, highlighting protest actions as another form of constituent sentiment that should be considered alongside public opinion and voting behavior.


His book, Governing with Words: The Political Dialogue on Race, Public Policy, and Inequality in America, demonstrates that historically, the political dialogue on race offered by presidents and congressional members alters the public policy process and shapes societal and cultural norms to improve the lives of racial and ethnic minorities, illustrating that mere words are a powerful tool for combating racial inequality in America.

Professor Gillian’s most recent book is THE LOUD MINORITY: WHY PROTESTS MATTER IN AMERICAN DEMOCRACY, just published by Princeton University Press. It comes at a time when many of us have been confined to our homes for many weeks during this global pandemic and others protest, disregarding social distancing precautions and carrying rapid fire weapons to state capitals, protesting government stay at home orders. We asked him about this and more.


Here are links to some of the articles referenced in this interview:

How the Kent State massacre marked the start of America’s polarization      https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/may/04/kent-state-massacre-marked-start-of-americas-polarization

Armed protesters demonstrate against Covid-19 lockdown at Michigan capitol  https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/apr/30/michigan-protests-coronavirus-lockdown-armed-capitol

Protests sweep California as governor promises changes to lockdown    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/may/01/california-coronavirus-protests-huntington-beach-sacramento

‘Are you a spoiler?’: why critics fear Amash’s Libertarian bid may ensure a Trump win      https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/may/03/justin-amash-libertarian-2020-election-trump-win-critics

The Anti-Mask League: lockdown protests draw parallels to 1918 pandemic  https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/29/coronavirus-pandemic-1918-protests-california

How a tea party-linked group plans to turbocharge lockdown protests    https://www.politico.com/news/2020/04/24/tea-party-lockdown-coronavirus-206083

Trump allies jump in to help organize lockdown protests    https://www.politico.com/news/2020/04/21/trump-allies-help-organize-lockdown-protests-198426

What the anti-stay-at-home protests are really about        https://www.vox.com/2020/4/19/21225195/stay-at-home-protests-trump-tea-party-reelection

America doesn’t want another Tea Party    https://www.vox.com/2020/4/20/21225016/protests-stay-at-home-orders-trump-conservative-group-michigan

The ‘anti-lockdown’ protests are about more than just quarantines   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/commentisfree/2020/apr/21/anti-lockdown-protests-trump-right-wing

Alan Hirsch A SHORT HISTORY OF PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION CRISES: (and how to prevent the next one)

Alan Hirsch’s latest book, A SHORT HISTORY OF PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION CRISES: (AND HOW TO PREVENT THE NEXT ONE), has just been published by City Lights Books.


Alan Hirsch is an Instructor in the Humanities and Chair of the Justice and Law Studies program at Williams College. He is the author of a number of other books including Impeaching the President: Past, Present, and Future and For the People: What the Constitution Really Says About Your Rights (coauthored with Akhil Amar). He received his law degree from Yale Law School. His work has appeared in the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Washington Times, Newsday, and the Village Voice. He also serves as a trial consultant and expert witness on interrogations and criminal confessions, testifying around the nation.


He focuses on four presidential election crises that left the nation with no clear winner: those in the years 1800, 1824 & 1876, 2000, and he notes that in twelve elections, fully 20% of all presidential elections, were too close for comfort.




Articles pertinent to this interview:

Virginia Makes Election Day A Holiday In Wave Of New Voting Rights Laws     https://www.huffpost.com/entry/virginia-election-day-holiday-voting-rights-laws_n_5e93a7bec5b6765e95633e2f

Kentucky just made it harder to vote during a pandemic   https://www.vox.com/2020/4/15/21222084/kentucky-voter-id-coronavirus-pandemic

The US presidential election is frozen in time – can it survive?      https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/apr/04/us-2020-presidential-election-coronavirus-future

Voting during a pandemic? Here’s what happened in 1918     https://patriots4health.com/2020/04/voting-during-a-pandemic-heres-what-happened-in-1918/

What Happens If A Presidential Nominee Can No Longer Run For Office?    https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/what-happens-if-a-presidential-nominee-can-no-longer-run-for-office/

What Happens If A Nominee Dies Before The General Election?    https://fivethirtyeight.com/videos/what-happens-if-a-nominee-dies-before-the-general-election/

‘The Nightmare Scenario’: How Coronavirus Could Make the 2020 Vote a Disaster    https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/04/28/2020-election-coronavirus-disaster-impact-215559

Gaia Vince TRANSCENDENCE: How Humans Evolved Through Fire, Language, Beauty & Time

Gaia Vince is an environmental journalist, author and broadcaster. Her work focuses largely on the interplay between humans and the planetary environment. Her latest book, TRANSCENDENCE: How Humans Evolved Through Fire, Language, Beauty & Time, was published in the United States in January, 2020 by Basic Books.

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Her first book, Adventures in the Anthropocene: A Journey to the Heart of the Planet We Made, won the 2015 Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books, making her the first woman to win the prize outright. That book discussed the Anthropocene, the geological epoch that began when human activities started to have a significant global impact on Earth’s ecosystems.


She has held senior editorial posts at Nature and New Scientist, and her writing has featured in newspapers and magazines including the Guardian, The Times and Scientific American. She also writes and presents science programs for radio and television. Her research takes her across the world: she has visited more than 60 countries. She currently lives in London, where we spoke with her via Skype.

In addition to fire and language, Gaia Vince asserts that beauty was a powerful force in human evolution. She cites artifacts such as the “Lion Man”, the oldest known zoomorphic sculpture and uncontested example of figurative art, between 35,000 and 40,000 years old. It was carved of mammoth ivory using a flint knife and stands 31.1cm tall, 5.6cm wide and 5.9cm thick.


Recent articles pertinent to this interview:

Cave find shows Neanderthals collected seafood, scientists say   https://www.theguardian.com/science/2020/mar/26/cave-find-shows-neanderthals-collected-seafood-scientists-say

The Fight to Preserve a 44,000-year-old Painting    https://www.1843magazine.com/features/the-fight-to-preserve-a-44000yearold-painting?utm_source=pocket-newtab

Fossil hunters find evidence of 555m-year-old human relative  https://www.theguardian.com/science/2020/mar/23/fossil-ikaria-wariootia-bilateral-organism-human-relative

El Silbo Gomero     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qtEovudxXVE

Whistled Turkish helps speak across valleys                                       https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjcVLLdPCoU

500,000-year-old shell engraved by Homo erectus challenges previous beliefs about human ancestors    https://www.ancient-origins.net/news-evolution-human-origins/500000-year-old-shell-engraved-homo-erectus-challenges-beliefs-020122

Whistled language of the island of La Gomera, the Silbo Gomero  (UNESCO) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgEmSb0cKBg

Big Gods Came After the Rise of Civilizations, Not Before, Finds Study Using Huge Historical Database         https://theconversation.com/big-gods-came-after-the-rise-of-civilisations-not-before-finds-study-using-huge-historical-database-113801

Rift Valley Drifters written/sung by Roy Zimmerman                           https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqy44OsmwLo

Why it’s so hard to be rational about Covid-19      https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200331-covid-19-how-will-the-coronavirus-change-the-world


Betsy Gaines Quammen American Zion: Cliven Bundy, God & Public Lands in the West

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In her book, American Zion: Cliven Bundy, God & Public Lands in the West, just out from Torrey House Press, Dr. Betsy Gaines Quammen, PhD, documents the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and how their beliefs led to Cliven Bundy’s scoff-law actions, including decades of grazing his cattle on public lands without legal permits and refusing to pay over $1million in fines and fees, leading to armed followers in tense stand-offs with federal employees in Nevada and Oregon.

Screen Shot 2020-03-18 at 1.42.07 PM.pngAfter environmental laws such as The Endangered Species Act, The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and The Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) required the federal government to assess public lands and protect endangered species such as the Desert Tortoise, individuals such as The Bundys and groups such as The Sagebrush Rebellion and the so-called Wise Use Movement arose to defy federal protections encroaching on what they considered their traditional way of life.

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[Cliven Bundy and an endangered Desert Tortoise (Reuters/Jim Urquhart/AP)]

This led to armed confrontations at the “Battle of Bunkerville” and “The Siege of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.”

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Mormon prophecy contributes to the sense of religious righteousness and destiny, which motivate some to claim uniquely superior interpretation of the U.S. Constitution, considered to be a divinely inspired sacred text.



[From left to right: Cliven Bundy, Ryan Bundy and Ammon Bundy.]

We end the program with a brief discussion of the unfolding Covid-19 Pandemic, the anti-science response of the Bundy network, and the work of Betsy’s husband, David Quammen, who in his book, Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic (2012) predicted it was only a matter of time til a pandemic like this would occur.

Finally,  Dan Roberts reads his poem from 2006, “Helter Shelter.”

Past Forthright Radio programs referenced in this show include:



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Katherine Stewart The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism


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Katherine Stewart is a journalist whose work has appeared in The Guardian, The New York Times, Reuters, The Atlantic, Bloomberg View, Newsweek International, Rolling Stone, The Nation and more.


Her earlier book is THE GOOD NEWS CLUB: THE CHRISTIAN RIGHT’S STEALTH ASSAULT ON AMERICA’S CHILDREN. Research for that book led her to discover the insidious depth and breadth of Christian Nationalism and its determination to radically alter the democratic foundations of the United States of America. Indeed, she documents the global reach of the movement toward authoritarianism, intolerance, plutocracy and aggrandizement of money and power for the “elect”.

The result is her latest book, THE POWER WORSHIPPERS: INSIDE THE DANGEROUS RISE OF RELIGIOUS NATIONALISM, published by Bloomsbury Publishing.

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Articles cited in this interview include:

How a data-backed Christian nationalist machine helped Trump to power  https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/mar/03/bill-dallas-christian-nationalist-right-donald-trump

Don’t Let Trump Pay Back Evangelicals Like This   https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/06/opinion/sunday/trump-evangelicals.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

Russia’s Putin wants traditional marriage and God in constitution   https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-51719764

The multimillion-dollar Christian group attacking LGBTQ+ rights     https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/20/alliance-defending-freedom-multimillion-dollar-conservative-christian-group-attacking-lgbtq-rights

The Traveling Salesman Bringing Abortion Bans To A Texas Town Near You   https://www.huffpost.com/entry/the-traveling-salesman-bringing-abortion-bans-to-a-texas-town-near-you_n_5e4479aec5b671eafe1e3880

Ernesto Cardenal, Nicaraguan poet, priest and revolutionary, dies at 95   https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/ernesto-cardenal-nicaraguan-poet-priest-and-revolutionary-dies-at-95/2020/03/02/4baa213c-5c96-11ea-9055-5fa12981bbbf_story.html

Ernesto Cardenal, poet and Catholic priest, still causes controversy at age 86   https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/ernesto-cardenal-poet-and-catholic-priest-still-causes-controversy-at-age-86/2011/05/26/AGSok0EH_story.html?itid=lk_inline_manual_26

Poet and priest who mixed religion and politics in his commitment to social justice in Nicaragua   https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/mar/06/ernesto-cardenal-obituary?

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