In a pitch to average Americans, Roosevelt University Associate Professor of Political Science David Faris takes aim in a bold book released this week at much that is held dear in U.S. politics.
Calling for changes both to and outside of the U.S. Constitution, adding more U.S. Supreme Court justices and eliminating lifetime tenure of the federal judiciary, It’s Time to Fight Dirty: How Democrats Can Build a Lasting Majority in American Politics is a blueprint for progressive change.
A regular columnist for The Week Magazine where his pieces have been featured in links by the New York Times, Faris starts from the premise in the book that the political Right is out to destroy the political Left.
“We’ve got all the Post-it notes and crime scene photos pinned to the wall like one of those tortured TV detectives, but we haven’t connected the dots. The Right is out to destroy the Left as an organized force in American society. It really is that simple,” Faris writes in the introduction to the new book that The Guardian recently featured and progressive Chicago talk radio recently discussed.
“One of the inspirations for this book is the misery and hopelessness that a lot of us felt after the recent presidential election,” said Faris, who signed copies at a Wednesday launch party at Seminary Co-op Bookstore in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood.
“I’ve had a lot of sleepless nights since the election thinking about how we can get out of this predicament and level the playing field,” said the Roosevelt professor and political science program director. “The result is this book in which I present a number of ideas.”
Among his proposals, Faris suggests:
- adding more U.S. Supreme Court justices and ending lifetime tenure of the federal judiciary, moves that should help to de-intensify destructive partisan battles over court nominees;
- granting statehood to Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, and breaking up California into seven states, which could give Democrats in the U.S. Senate additional parity;
- rewriting the U.S. Voting Rights Act so that Election Day becomes a national holiday, which could encourage more Americans to vote.
“This is not a policy book. It’s about playing hardball in order to create a level playing field for Democrats with Republicans,” said Faris, who credits his classroom teaching as well as students in his American Politics and Comparative Politics courses for helping brainstorm ways to fix what he believes is a broken political system.
“The reforms recommended in this book are…designed to improve the long-term quality and performance of American representative democracy, and to bring our practices into line with innovations discovered elsewhere, or in some cases, recommended by the Framers (of the Constitution) themselves,” writes Faris, who will begin a book tour around the nation in late April.
A secondary launch party and signing with Faris for the book published by Melville House will be at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 17 at City Lit Books in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood. The book also is available at most area bookstores and Amazon.com.
Faris begins a national book tour in Washington, D.C. on April 30. Stops include New York City’s Manhattan in May, and visits to college campuses across America in the fall.