Join me for this free 90-minute class and discover the Five Things I’ve Learned about the coordinated forces working to end American democracy as we know it – and what we must do today to fight back.
I’m Stuart Stevens. For almost three decades, I was a republican political consultant making ads for republican candidates. I worked in five presidential elections and helped elect governors or senators in over half the country.
In 2019. I left my consulting firm, no longer able to work for Republicans. I joined the Lincoln Project and wrote a book called It Was All A Lie, How The Republican Party Became Donald Trump.
When Trump was elected, I had many friends who were saying that Donald Trump had hijacked the Party, that he was an aberration. I would have liked to believe that but it was impossible. When a hijacker takes over a plane, he’s not popular with the passengers and Trump was and is the most popular figure in the Republican party.
What is important to understand is that Donald Trump didn’t change the Republican Party, he revealed it. As painful as it is for some of us to admit, the Republican party is no longer a traditional American political party, it is an autocratic movement.
I wrote a book called The Conspiracy To End America: Five Ways My Old Party Is Driving Democracy to Autocracy.
When a democracy – when our democracy – slides into autocracy, five critical elements work together. These elements are all active today in American politics. All are growing in power and influence as their cumulative influence metastasizes more dangerously every day:
- Propagandists: Organizations like Fox News but also a growing media ecosphere that looks to autocrats like Hungary’s Viktor Orban of Hungary as their role models.
- Support of a Major Party: Republican men and women – including many people I have known to be sane and decent – who steadfastly refuse to acknowledge that Donald Trump lost to the 2020 race, and who now endorse Trump’s 2024 presidential run.
- Financers: American oligarchs like Peter Theil, who has openly voiced his opposition to democracy, together with a vast online base of zealous small donors that together provide almost unlimited funding to the cause.
- Legal Theories to Legitimize Actions: Legislation efforts like those introduced by Republicans in almost every U.S. state aimed at methodically altering the legal framework of democracy.
- Shock Troops: The insurrectionists who stormed the Capital on January 6, 2021, as well as the still growing network of men and women who believe they have a moral obligation to remove the current resident of the White House.
My concerns are real, and, importantly, this is not theoretical for me: I know many of the people who continue to fuel the Republican drive to autocracy. I also know their world and how they function. As dangerous as they may seem, they are worse: If we don’t wake up to the crisis in our system, 2024 may well be our last free and fair election.
If you love America, and if you’re as determined as I am about rising to the challenges of the current moment, I hope you’ll join me for this live, 90-minute class. I’m pleased that I’ll be joined online by my friend and colleague Megan Matson, who understands and shares the urgency of this moment and the reasons for my alarm.
As I’ll explain, mine is testimony to a corrupt system that I helped construct. If we look away from that truth, we greatly increase the likelihood that the America we love will slip away, never to return.
Do please join me. Please help spread the word and invite others as well.
It’s not too late to save American democracy.
But it is too late to pretend that the danger is not great, and the time grows short.
– Stuart Stevens
Megan Matson has the somewhat frenetic bio of someone who starts and/or makes things happen.
Most recently, Megan got the pro-democracy media platform ResoluteSquare.com capitalized and launched, where you can find writings, podcasts and streaming shows anchored by Rick Wilson, Stuart Stevens et al, against the autocratic movement that is today’s GOP.
As board lead at The Lincoln Project from late 2021, Megan did intensive organizational work including the staffing and launch of TheUnion.us and the restructuring of the Lincoln Democracy Institute. In 2020, she trained a team to co-launch the SeeSay2020 election incidents heat map on ESRI’s ArcGIS with Democracy Labs' Deepak Puri. In late 2018, Megan went to Texas and worked for the Field Team on Beto's Senate race. Over that same stretch of years, as deeply active board members, Megan and her equity partner Peter Luchetti backed, grew and sold Heila Technologies, a breakthrough clean energy microgrid controller; and are now backing and growing Scepter Air, a geotech climate emissions company now flying stratospheric balloons over the Permian detecting methane plumes. The two partners also formed, capitalized and now run the first labor-owned P3 in the country since 2012, a water-and-wastewater utility serving 110,000 in Southern California. There Megan headed up a $32M progressive-design-build wastewater plant construction, a waste-based clean energy microgrid plan, and was a presenter and convener on P3 for President Obama’s Build America initiatives in D.C.
Megan first came to infrastructure (energy, water, climate) through political organizing, when the grassroots group she started (Mainstreet Moms) helped launch California’s first CCA (Marin Clean Energy). This local utility model replicated and now serves 15 million California ratepayers. Megan was also field director on the defeat of PG&E’s $65M anti-CCA statewide ballot initiative Prop 16, and then co-launched LEAN Energy, a trade group supporting the formation of CCAs nationally today.
Megan is an English Major from Yale, and lives in Bolinas, California with her family and too many animals. Like most everyone, Megan can be found writing sporadically on Substack, at https://meganmatson.substack.com/
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