Regime Change Begins At Home

Freeing America from Corporate Rule

Charles Derber (Author)

Publication date: 07/01/2004

Regime Change Begins At Home
  • By the author of the internationally acclaimed books Corporation Nation, The Wilding of America, People Before Profit, and The Pursuit of Attention
  • Shows that Americans are ruled not just by a particular administration but by a corporate regime, spanning several decades and incorporating both mainstream political parties, which puts the interests of big business ahead of those of ordinary Americans
  • Offers hope-and detailed strategies and tactics-for defeating the corporate regime and returning America to its people

By the author of the internationally acclaimed books Corporation Nation, The Wilding of America, People Before Profit, and The Pursuit of Attention

Shows that Americans are ruled not just by a particular administration but by a corporate regime, spanning several decades and incorporating both mainstream political parties, which puts the interests of big business ahead of those of ordinary Americans

Offers hope-and detailed strategies and tactics-for defeating the corporate regime and returning America to its people

Since 1980, America has been run by a corporate regime that has co-opted both political parties and shifted sovereignty from "we the people" to trans-national corporations. The result has been job insecurity for millions of workers, debts as far as the eye can see, and a dangerous quest for global domination. Democracy itself has been undermined and the Constitution weakened. This regime must be overturned! And, as Charles Derber demonstrates in his provocative new book, it can be. After all, Derber points out, there have been other corporate regimes in American history, although this latest version is by far the most extreme. Still, the corporate regimes of the Gilded Age and Roaring Twenties were overturned. To create regime change again, it will require bold, creative strategies, uniting progressives and conservatives in a new politics, which Derber outlines in detail.

Regime Change Begins at Home exposes the many lies the corporate regime has used to maintain itself throughout its history, from the Cold War to the Iraq war, with a particular emphasis on how the Bush administration has cynically sought to, as Condelezza Rice once put it, "capitalize on the opportunities" presented by 9/11. Derber reveals how the Bush administration has used the so-called "war on terror" to frighten and distract the public. But regime change is possible. In Part III, Derber lays out the vision of a new regime, describing the social movements now fighting to achieve it, and the major new political realignment-one spanning the traditional conservative-liberal divide-that can make it happen. Derber does not minimize the difficulty of the task ahead, but he offers hope and specific, sophisticated, often surprising advice for defeating the regime and returning America to its citizens.

  • By the author of the internationally acclaimed books Corporation Nation, The Wilding of America, People Before Profit, and The Pursuit of Attention
  • Shows that Americans are ruled not just by a particular administration but by a corporate regime, spanning several decades and incorporating both mainstream political parties, which puts the interests of big business ahead of those of ordinary Americans
  • Offers hope-and detailed strategies and tactics-for defeating the corporate regime and returning America to its people

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Overview

  • By the author of the internationally acclaimed books Corporation Nation, The Wilding of America, People Before Profit, and The Pursuit of Attention
  • Shows that Americans are ruled not just by a particular administration but by a corporate regime, spanning several decades and incorporating both mainstream political parties, which puts the interests of big business ahead of those of ordinary Americans
  • Offers hope-and detailed strategies and tactics-for defeating the corporate regime and returning America to its people

By the author of the internationally acclaimed books Corporation Nation, The Wilding of America, People Before Profit, and The Pursuit of Attention

Shows that Americans are ruled not just by a particular administration but by a corporate regime, spanning several decades and incorporating both mainstream political parties, which puts the interests of big business ahead of those of ordinary Americans

Offers hope-and detailed strategies and tactics-for defeating the corporate regime and returning America to its people

Since 1980, America has been run by a corporate regime that has co-opted both political parties and shifted sovereignty from "we the people" to trans-national corporations. The result has been job insecurity for millions of workers, debts as far as the eye can see, and a dangerous quest for global domination. Democracy itself has been undermined and the Constitution weakened. This regime must be overturned! And, as Charles Derber demonstrates in his provocative new book, it can be. After all, Derber points out, there have been other corporate regimes in American history, although this latest version is by far the most extreme. Still, the corporate regimes of the Gilded Age and Roaring Twenties were overturned. To create regime change again, it will require bold, creative strategies, uniting progressives and conservatives in a new politics, which Derber outlines in detail.

Regime Change Begins at Home exposes the many lies the corporate regime has used to maintain itself throughout its history, from the Cold War to the Iraq war, with a particular emphasis on how the Bush administration has cynically sought to, as Condelezza Rice once put it, "capitalize on the opportunities" presented by 9/11. Derber reveals how the Bush administration has used the so-called "war on terror" to frighten and distract the public. But regime change is possible. In Part III, Derber lays out the vision of a new regime, describing the social movements now fighting to achieve it, and the major new political realignment-one spanning the traditional conservative-liberal divide-that can make it happen. Derber does not minimize the difficulty of the task ahead, but he offers hope and specific, sophisticated, often surprising advice for defeating the regime and returning America to its citizens.

  • By the author of the internationally acclaimed books Corporation Nation, The Wilding of America, People Before Profit, and The Pursuit of Attention
  • Shows that Americans are ruled not just by a particular administration but by a corporate regime, spanning several decades and incorporating both mainstream political parties, which puts the interests of big business ahead of those of ordinary Americans
  • Offers hope-and detailed strategies and tactics-for defeating the corporate regime and returning America to its people

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Meet the Author


Visit Author Page - Charles Derber

Charles Derber is professor of sociology at Boston College and former director of its graduate program on Social Economy and Social Justice. He is a prolific scholar in the fields of political economy, international relations and society, and is the author of eight previous books, including People Before Profit: The New Globalization in an Age of Terror, Big Money and Economic Crisis, Corporation Nation and The Wilding of America.

To learn more about Charles and his work, visit him on the web here

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Table of Contents



Part I: The Corporate Regime

Chapter 1: The Regime
Chapter 2: Elections and Regimes
Chapter 3: Beyond Normal Politics

Part II: Extreme Regime

Chapter 4: The Big Lie
Chapter 5: Dog-Wagging with Bush
Chapter 6: The Perfect Storm
Chapter 7: Econogate
Chapter 8: The Rules of Extremism

Part III: Regime Change
Chapter 9: The Fight for Our Lives
Chapter 10: The New Democracy Regime
Chapter 11: Realignment for Democracy

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Excerpt

REGIME CHANGE BEGINS AT HOME



What we need now is not just a regime change in Saddam Hussein and Iraq, but we need a regime change in the United States.1 JOHN KERRY

INTRODUCTION

WHEN BAD REGIMES HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE



MEET DAVID BILLINGSLY


David is a forty-six-year-old certified accountant with an MBA and a CMA. He got his degrees in the late 1970s and early 1980s and found a good job with a midsize, growing company. He got married, had two kids, and bought a house. He had a good bonus plan and pension program. He was living the American Dream.

Ten years into the job, David was laid off. He found a job at a major computer corporation after several months, but six years later, the firm started to lay off full-time employees and hire outside contractors. He was out of work again, but this time “I was prepared, I had my job search. Have vita, will travel.”

But now it was the recession of the early 1990s. With his savings dwindling, David started taking temping assignments in accounting at one-fourth of his former salary. After years of part-time, temporary, and short-time permanent jobs, even after his wife got a job, he explains, “Now it’s survival. It’s putting food on the table. When my roof starts to leak, what do I do? The hot water heater goes, I don’t have the five hundred or thousand. I can’t buy a car and the brakes are going. My wife and I, our teeth are rotting away, and we don’t have any dental insurance.”

David feels he’s being “double raped” by the companies and the temping agencies that bill for $20 and give him $11. As the manufacturing jobs melt away, he says, “We screwed up, we’re going down. Like the Romans or the Egyptians or the British, we’re on the decline.” The politicians are out for themselves, David believes, and both political parties are in bed with the corporations. He voted for Ross Perot in the 1990s and doesn’t vote anymore.

David doesn’t see a future now. “I’ll tell you how bad it is: I’ve got a copy of Derek Humphrey’s book on suicide. I want to be prepared because I don’t believe that I’ll ever work on a stable basis again.”


David’s words echo the stories of many Americans I have interviewed over recent years.2 Although no two are alike, they are all experiences of people on the verge of despair, betrayed by the very institution that was to deliver their dreams—the American corporation. For these people, the American job—the rock on which the American middle class was created—had turned into what David calls a “one-night stand.”

How sad, you might think. But should these poor souls—as cruel as it sounds—be written off as unfortunate but necessary victims of “business as usual”? Or worse yet, could they simply be, well, losers?

The Americans I interviewed have been downsized, outsourced, reduced to temping, freelancing, and part-timing. But this rapidly swelling pool of workers is no longer a statistical shrug-off. Together they now represent one-third of the American workforce.3 Furthermore, along with millions of other hardworking folks in this country, they have done everything right—the American way. They worked long hours, educated themselves, were creative and loyal. It was the system—or what I call the regime—that step-by-step turned against them.

But let us look beyond the workplace. If we pull ourselves for a minute out of our collective trance, we’ll see that the current regime is actually rigged against all of us. Whether, like David, you are struggling to make ends meet, or your livelihood is in no immediate danger, you, too, are a casualty of today’s regime!


THE REGIME AND YOU


You may drive an SUV, enjoy a bigger house and higher household income than you expected, have four televisions and two really cool flat-screen computers. But think about your credit card debt. Or how long and hard you work (a month longer, on average, than most Europeans). And look around. Your local public schools and libraries are under-funded and probably rotting, your health care costs are spiraling, your tap water may not be safe, your state’s roads and bridges are deteriorating and may not be safe for that SUV (which might roll over on you anyway). There’s more. American unions are busted. Our tax system is skewed, robbing Peter to pay the very wealthy Paul. Our elections are manipulated (think Florida) and constitutional rights compromised (think Patriot Act). Big money drowns out your voice in Washington, D.C.

How can we go about building the American Dream if the principles of the common good and of democracy, the very foundations of this glorious country, are being dismantled before our eyes, brick by brick? And as we let our government bang nail after nail into the coffin of our dreams, how can we explain why all this is happening today in the United States?


WHEN BAD REGIMES HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE


I argue in this book that all is not doom and gloom: this perversity can be explained and changed. Here is my premise: Americans are good people with strong democratic traditions. The problem lies in today’s regime—a system of rule based on underlying, and now deeply worrisome, imbalances of power in society between money and people.

Central to the current regime is corporate ascendancy, a balance of power tipped in favor of corporate elites who have succeeded in parlaying their financial clout into the greatest hostile takeover ever: the acquisition of Washington, D.C. These brazen corporate raiders have enforced their political will by taking away from us, the public, our constitutionally endorsed authority. We have seen big business wield political influence before, but never have we had trillion-dollar transnational corporations gain such overwhelming control over our nation’s beautiful capital, and over all of America itself. Today’s corporate regime is unique, and uniquely dangerous.


Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to befoul the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics, is the first task of the statesmanship of the day4


PRESIDENT TEDDY ROOSEVELT

Conceived in the 1970s and shaped by the election of President Ronald Reagan in 1980, the current corporate regime has been steadily consolidating power. The result so far: profits grow and democracy shrinks. George W. Bush has pushed the envelope, taking the regime in more extreme directions as Washington becomes a money swamp, and people like you and me have too many days when we feel helpless to change it.

image

The American system wasn’t supposed to work this way. The Founders crafted the Constitution to ensure that “We, the People” would have a voice in our own affairs—and in those of the nation. The Constitution embraced an elaborate set of checks and balances that were to separate government agencies and prevent concentration of power. The Founders realized that checks and balances apply to corporations.

There is an evil which ought to be guarded against.… The power of all corporations ought to be limited.…

The growing wealth acquired by them never fails to be a source of abuses.5


JAMES MADISON,

author of the U.S. Constitution

In today’s regime, giants such as Wal-Mart, GE, and Merrill Lynch have accomplished what the Founding Fathers most feared. They have hollowed out the institutions that enable ordinary Americans to have a say in how our land is governed. To cover up this hijacking of our constitutional and democratic rights, the regime has targeted you and me with a classy Madison Avenue arsenal of manipulation techniques—from democratic rhetoric to downright deception. Think just about the bald lies recently constructed to justify war against Iraq, a war that brings back spooky memories of Vietnam.


HAVE YOU THOUGHT ABOUT REGIME CHANGE AT HOME?


After 9/11, President Bush declared regime change to be official U.S. policy. He took this country to war to create regime change in Iraq. How does the president know which governments to overthrow? According to Bush’s criteria, a government must


  • build or sell weapons of mass destruction
    violate U.N. resolutions
    threaten, invade, or dominate its neighbors
    exploit many of its own poorest citizens
    erode the civil liberties or human rights of its people
    fail to live up to democratic ideals

The president, of course, was thinking of countries like Iraq, Iran, North Korea, or Syria. But look at the list more carefully. Sound familiar? The criteria that call for regime change apply to the American government itself.

Americans live under a regime that is threatening to dominate not just its neighbors but the world as a whole. Did you know that the U.S. government is the planet’s biggest producer and merchandiser of weapons of mass destruction and that it has voted against and violated hundreds of U.N. resolutions?6 It treats our poor and many of our workers, such as David, in ways that violate U.N. conventions. It is violating our most important civil liberties and our own highest democratic ideals. It is eroding hope, not just in workers such as David Billingsly, but in millions of other Americans.


I was one of the hundreds of thousands of Americans who went out into the street to protest against the war in Iraq. While I was walking on the streets during one protest, I glimpsed—among the hundreds of colorful signs denouncing the war—a poster that made a different statement. It said, simply, “Regime change begins at home.” The clever twist made me chuckle. But as I reflected on it, the idea struck me as profoundly serious. I argue in this book that you should take it seriously too.

Many Americans do not agree with the president’s policy of regime change abroad. Who is the United States to decide the fate of foreign governments? How can the United States violate international law and preemptively strike against governments that have not attacked us? If regime change became the policy of other governments, wouldn’t the world descend into chaos? But regime change at home is a policy that all Americans can—and should—embrace.

Regime change at home doesn’t threaten other countries. It does not violate international law and it doesn’t create prospects of chaos in the world. It will not breed anti-Americanism or more Islamic terrorism. And it certainly does not violate the American Constitution or any American laws or values.

Regime change at home is the highest form of American democracy. Instead of preemptive war, it is proactive citizenship. It is the form of American politics blessed by the American Constitution. Some of our finest moments in American history have come from prior regime changes at home—and when you get involved personally, it can be one of the most meaningful parts of your own life. And here’s another plus: when we succeed in regime change here, we set a model for citizens in other countries who need their own regime change.

Regime change at home isn’t easy, partly because the ruling regime has not only made us disposable but also taken away our hope. Many of us believe our troubles can’t or won’t be fixed, and we have little faith that getting together and organizing with other workers or citizens can make a difference. No wonder that David Billingsly finds himself considering suicide. The regime has killed his belief in the possibility of change itself.

Although I understand David’s despair, I show in this book that there is strong reason for hope. No earlier American regime has survived for much more than a generation, and this one will not be any different. True, short-term developments—including the frightful possibility of George W.’s reelection in 2004—could boost the current regime, but these cannot stem the longer-term conditions that doom the current regime. So be hopeful, but be aware of what is killing off hope in David, and perhaps in you, too.

Part of our loss of hope involves the loss of choice in Washington. American regimes are systems of power that transcend particular administrations and parties. The current American regime has enlisted all presidents since 1980 and has swallowed up both political parties, including the majority of congressional Democrats. While there is deep partisan bitterness between Republicans and Democrats, both are more concerned with staying in power and serving the big monied interests that put them there.

This is not the same as saying there are no meaningful differences between the parties. The Democratic base, which opposed the war in Iraq and is angry about big business domination of Washington, sees the world differently than the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC), the mainstream voice of the Democratic Party leadership, as well as the Republican establishment. Moreover, even the Democratic Party establishment differs in important ways from the Bush Republicans. The Bush administration is the radical frontier of the corporate regime, and its foreign and domestic policies are more extreme than those of other regime voices, including DLC Democrats and even those of Bush’s own father.

PARTY DRINKERS BEWARE


When I told my students at Boston College about this book, they begged me to call it Bush Lite. Since they are students who enjoy a few glasses of beer after class, I could understand their passion for the title. In truth, it conveys one of the key insights about U.S. corporate regimes: that they erode democracy by turning many elections into a choice between a party of big business and a party of big business with a softer voice. While our current corporate regime is more closely identified with the Republicans than with the Democrats, much of the Democratic Party establishment is Bush Lite. While it bitterly fights Republican control, it drinks from the same tap of big money and tastes, to the average citizen, just a little smoother.

But a call for regime change at home is not just an argument against President Bush and the current congressional leadership. (I focus in this book on the presidency, but the same arguments apply to Congress.) Beating Bush in 2004 would grievously wound the regime and might begin to turn our lives around in small ways, but it would not equal regime change. Regime change goes beyond changing a president, a party, the congressional leadership, or even electoral politics itself, requiring basic change in institutions and culture. Regimes change only with underlying tectonic shifts in social power and with the rise of new social movements. Nonetheless, defeating particular presidents—or the rule of a particular party—can be essential to the politics of regime change. Bush is such a president, because he is the corporate regime’s most extreme face, a symbol that can potentially spark the grassroots movements that make politics relevant to workers like David.


WHY REGIME CHANGE SHOULD MATTER TO YOU


One aim of my book is to help make you smile about our nation’s sad state of affairs. But mainly I want to persuade you of a strategy of how to achieve regime change, including how to approach 2004, and how to move the country in a new direction in the long term, regardless of who wins the elections. Here is my road map:

PART I I tell the histories of corporate regimes in the United States and how they have been toppled in the past.

PART II I spotlight the Bush administration as a window into the extremism of the current corporate regime, showing the damage it has done to the country and why it must resort to wars of deception to survive.

PART III lay out a vision and strategy for regime change at home over the long haul.

Let me briefly indicate how my argument is essential to readers from many groups—from liberals to conservatives to populists—and why we should all come together to change the current regime. My main hope and challenge is to inspire you and unite citizens of many different persuasions to reclaim the country from the elite that has hijacked our government.


ANYBODY BUT BUSH


You may belong to the group that I call Anybody but Bush (ABB), a group that includes most partisan Democrats, many progressive or leftist radicals disaffected with the Democratic Party, some Independents, and even a few Republicans. If you are an ABB person, you see Bush as so dangerous that your only concern is beating him, even if it means electing a conservative Democrat who is Bush Lite. You are looking for the strategy that will defeat Bush; my argument is that this is intimately linked to longer-term regime change, and that those of you who are ABB must focus not just on Bush but also on the regime he represents.

The 2004 election is really about the survival of the corporate regime and what direction the country will and should go in the twenty-first century. We are not likely to defeat Bush and change the country without understanding the larger significance of the elections; we need a vision of a twenty-first-century alternative to the current regime.

ABB people must recognize that the Democratic Party, because of its current stake in the regime, will have difficulty gaining the people’s support until it begins to speak out against the corporate regime and embraces a new vision. If you are ABB, you need to know the historical evidence that shows Democrats win when they don’t simply mimic Republicans in sheep’s clothes. I shall review this evidence throughout the book, but one need only look at the emotion and electoral support won by former Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone, precisely because he spoke so passionately for a real alternative.


HELLO, ALL DEMOCRATS


I hope to persuade members of the Democratic Party itself—including congressional politicians—and the liberal base of a related argument. A Bush victory in 2004, combined with a GOP sweep of the Senate and the House, would be a catastrophe for the Democratic Party as well as the country. The Democratic Party has been split between the Establishment Camp, who are Bush Lite, and the Base Camp (the strongly partisan grassroots Democrats), who are disaffected and want real change. Regime change highlights an old question that plagued the Democrats in two former eras dominated by big business: the Gilded Age and the Roaring Twenties. In both periods, the Democratic Party became a copycat of the Republicans and almost made itself extinct, electing no presidents in either period with the exception of Grover Cleveland, a parallel to Bill Clinton today. The Democrats are running that risk again.

If the Democratic Party does not wake up and fight for regime change, social movements will push it aside and offer the country another voice for the people.


NO-SHOW VOTERS


I hope to show why regime change matters to readers who are part of the electorate in general, and are disaffected by both parties or unclear about how or whether to vote in 2004 or successive elections. Many of you already understand that both parties currently speak in different accents for the same regime and reward the giant global corporations that fund the candidates at the expense of the voters. Since you already distrust both parties, you are among 100 million people (one out of two adult Americans) who are likely nonvoters and disposed to tune out politics unless you hear someone speaking honestly about the crises affecting your life. Only the politics of regime change can make politics relevant again for you and help you deal with the urgent problems of your life and communities. While older voters may be skeptical, a large number of the disaffected are young people who have not voted but are hungry for new ideas and a new politics. Candidates who capture disaffected voters like you will prevail in 2004 and beyond, and regime change politics has the best potential to turn you from a couch potato into an engaged citizen.


TRADITIONAL CONSERVATIVES


Conservatives are surprisingly ripe for the kind of regime change that I discuss, and I think the ideas here will resonate with you. Traditional conservatives abhor concentrated power, whether in big government or in big corporations. I know from my own extensive experience talking to libertarians, small business proprietors, and other conservatives on AM radio talk shows that a critique of the corporate order resonates with many of you. The current regime, being a marriage of big business and big government, is the antithesis of the capitalism that traditional conservatives embrace. Nor do corporate globalization and American empire appeal to many of you, who see it as the work of high finance with no loyalty to anything but money. As mentioned earlier, the gap between neoconservatism and traditional conservatism is huge, and many former Republicans, such as former Nixon advisor Pat Buchanan or the best-selling writer and strategist of the “new Republican majority,” Kevin Phillips, see the neo-cons as hijacking their own heritage.7 Bush is popular among social conservatives who care about abortion, gun control, and taxes, but there is a big opening in the conservative world for a challenge to the global corporate system, and winning a large group of you over is key to regime change.


RADICALS


Progressive, populist, or leftist radicals, your structural critique is essential to the regime change we need, and I hope to show you how important your role is today. Regime change is systemic and arises out of grassroots social movements that are visionary enough to reject the regimes of their eras and capture the imagination of the public with an alternative. Radicals are the heroes of regime change politics, but many are disenchanted with electoral politics and have lost hope in the Democratic Party as a tool of change. My effort here is not to persuade those of you who are radicals to suit up with the Democrats or to take attention away from your work in communities, but to help you think about the relationship of your own vision to the politics of regime change. Neoconservative radicals took this task seriously in the 1970s and succeeded.

At minimum, radicals today seeking to topple the current system of global corporate power need to understand and appreciate your monumental role in earlier regime change. From ousting Union Jack to desegregating our schools and lunch counters, social movements ought to be credited for the finest moments in U.S. history:


  • 18TH CENTURY Movement for independence
  • 19TH CENTURY Abolitionism
  • 1880S AND 18?OS Rise of populism
  • 1910s Suffragist movement
  • 1930s Unionism
  • 1960s Civil rights movement

Social movements—not mainstream parties or third party candidates—are always the ultimate architects of regime change. Today, populist movements rising among labor, environmentalists, women, minorities, peace activists, and religious communities can help propel the nation and the Democratic Party beyond the current crumbling corporate regime. If a new Democratic president, such as John Kerry, is elected in 2004, the movements will be critical in determining whether he pastes a cosmetic gloss on the current regime or moves to help create a real democratic alternative.


SKEPTICS AND PRAGMATISTS


My biggest challenge is convincing skeptics who don’t believe in the possibility of regime change. Skeptics may be fatalists who don’t trust they can make a difference or “pragmatists” who see regime change as utopian, believing either that there never has been de facto regime change in American politics or that the end of history has arrived and the pendulum will never swing again. Well, you make a good point. The current regime does have a more powerful hold on power than did earlier ones:


  • It has uniquely deep hooks in both mainstream political parties.
  • It has unprecedented control of the mass media and the exceptional power of new electronic media to indoctrinate the population.
  • It has been effective in eroding countervailing power, particularly unions.
  • Ordinary citizens are now more dependent than ever on corporations for jobs, pensions, information, entertainment, health care, and almost every sphere of daily life.

Doubts about change are well-founded and cannot be ignored. But sitting still is no alternative. The regime is facing serious stresses that could create regime change quickly, and skeptics should find this argument interesting, if only because it will change your reading of the American experience into one in which significant realignment periodically occurs. I will show that regime change is the stuff of American politics, and it has been a permanent dimension of U.S. history from the Revolution to Ronald Reagan. While regime changes in the United States are not usually revolutions, they reflect periodic deep-seated shifts in the values and direction of the country.

Regimes tend to be so strongly constructed that their change always seems utopian. That is the purpose of regime ideology: to persuade you that things must always be the way that the current regime dictates. Regime change means rebuilding all of the regime elements, and it requires imagination and hope. But toppling a system that violates its own national creed may be easier than you think. United, we can do it. And then we can remember all over again why America is such a great country.

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