The book examines the dynamics driving the country’s deeply troubled political culture and highlights reforms needed in the post-Trump era to strengthen US democracy. The author paints a clear and sobering portrait of a mercenary election industry and its support structure tailored to perpetuate and exploit America's social and political division. He shows how corrosive partisan animosity, dysfunctional political institutions, and even Trumpism are symptoms of a broken system dominated by a self-serving party duopoly. Having hacked the democratic process for its own ends, the cartel’s intrigues continue to undermine functional compromise and the virtues essential for self-governance. Without timely structural reform outlined in the narrative, Politics Inc., abetted by technological, social, and cultural factors, will continue to undermine the country from the far right and far left. The stakes could not be higher. At risk is the nation’s security and the future of democracy at home and around the globe.
John Raidt has served on three national commissions: National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (9/11 Commission); Commission on the National Guard and Reserves; and the Independent Commission on the Security Forces of Iraq. He is a former senior staff member to the U.S. Senate, having served as Legislative Director for U.S. Senator John McCain.
Preamble: Jim Mattis
Chapter 1. The System is Blinking Red
Chapter 2. Politics Incorporated (Power gear)
Chapter 3. Endless and Dirty Campaigns (Tactics gear)
Chapter 4. Money Chase (Finance gear)
Chapter 5. Running in Place (Structure gear)
Chapter 6. Suffering Suffrage (Structure gear)
Chapter 7. Laws and Sausages (Structure gear)
Chapter 8. Mercenary Media (Media gear)
Chapter 9. High Tech and Low Down (Technology gear)
Chapter 10. We the Problem (Culture gear)
Chapter 11. The Casualty of Virtues
Chapter 12. American Evolution
[T]his is a thorough accounting of the fault lines in American democracy.
John Raidt weaves a life of extensive experience in government and politics with a deep insight to dissect and analyze the causes of dysfunction in the American political system. But he doesn’t just give us a litany of the problems confronting us, but offers concrete, tangible solutions to these problems. This is a “must read” for anyone committed to preserving the American experiment in democracy.
Raidt demonstrates that political reform is vital to national security and the cause of freedom. He has made a significant contribution to the reform debate and a compelling roadmap for ensuring America’s unity, strength, and leadership in a world where it’s needed more than ever.
Comprehensive and insightful, Politics Inc. is for anyone who wants to better understand the systemic forces endangering American democracy and what to do about it. John Raidt offers a manifesto for reform transcending party and partisanship so that we can pass to our children a stronger, better, and more united country—what my husband called a cause greater than ourselves.
2/22, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation: Michael Carney of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation interviewed John about the book.
2/23/22, Atlantic Council: John gave a virtual discussion about the book with Gov. Thomas Kean and Heather Hurlburt.
2/24/22, McCain Institute: John provided author insights about the book at an event with Jon Decker.
5/19/22, Campaign Legal Center: John Raidt spoke about the book at this event.
9/9/22, The Hill: John Raidt wrote an opinion piece featuring themes from the book.
10/14/22, Harvard Magazine: The book was included in a roundup of new releases from alumni.