Defending Democracy:
an Activist Resource Kit

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Your Guide to Defending Democracy


In Defending Democracy: An Activist Resource Kit, Political Research Associates looks beneath the slogans and soundbites to present a comprehensive examination of the political Right in the United States. Based on PRA’s twenty years experience monitoring the Right, Defending Democracy provides facts and analysis on the threat the Right poses to democratic principles, diversity and equality.
While the Right claims that it represents a more fair and direct form of democracy, this kit documents how it has closed economic opportunities, denied equal protection of law and limited individual rights for many people. Whether using ballot initiatives or the courts, whether advocating for "colorblind" policies or "compassionate conservatism," whether advocating business protectionism or scapegoating immigrants, the Right’s campaigns have mobilized a broad base while pursuing reforms that disproportionately benefit a small constituency.


The Right is made up of various sectors, including the Christian Right, the New Right and the Hard Right; each has different agendas and constituencies. By detailing the leaders, ideologies and agendas, Defending Democracy describes the shape and substance of the groups that make up the Right, using a selection of sources and approaches designed to meet activists’ needs. In a readable and reproducible format, this 130 pages kit can serve as either a quick reference guide or a source of in-depth and nuanced analysis of the Right.

Overview of the Right

Insightful articles by PRA President Jean Hardisty, Senior Researcher Chip Berlet and historian Matthew Lyons, Christian Right analyst Frederick Clarkson and the Blue Mountain Working Group provide an overview of the Right today detailing the ways in which it is politically complex, powerfully mature and fundamentally anti-democratic.

Organizing Advice

Based on the work of PRA staff and our colleagues in other organizations, the kit provides advice on how to debate the Right effectively; how to respond to hate activity in your community; and ways to protect your work and yourself in the face of harassment. Additional articles provide help on working with the media and focusing on fundraising.


Defending Democracy contains indispensable, detailed directories of both right-wing groups and progressive organizations in the US as well as an extensive bibliography on the US political Right.
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Defending Democracy is part of a series of Activist Resource Kits produced by PRA. If you would like more information on this kit or our other resources, please email PRA:, Or call for ordering information: 617 666-5300

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