top of page

Eli Merritt Featured In


How to Save Democracy: Advice and Inspiration from 95 World Leaders
Release Date March 14, 2023


How to Save Democracy is a collection of 423 instructive quotations derived from the First International Summit for Democracy. Divided into three sections—Virtues of Democracy, Challenges & Threats, and The Way Forward—the books brings hope, optimism, and poetry to the fight. As vital, How to Save Democracy outlines seven key principles of democratic success: 


  1. Never take democracy for granted 

  2. Democracy is the peoples’ government 

  3. Free and fair elections are the bedrock of democracy 

  4. Equality, inclusion, and diversity are cornerstones of democracy 

  5. Free, independent, ethical media is a lifeline of democracy 

  6. Rule of law is the glue that holds democracies together 

  7. Citizens, and nations, must unite to defend democracy 


How to Save Democracy (Amplify Publishing, 2023) is a collaboration between Eli Merritt and RepresentUs, one of the nation’s premier nonprofit organizations fighting corruption and strengthening democracy. It is scheduled for publication in early 2023. 

Sign up to receive solutions to America's democratic decline

Thanks for subscribing!

Praise for How To Save Democracy

Unsparing in cataloging the challenges and threats confronting democracy today, this book is a source of hope and inspiration for all who care about preserving and strengthening our democracy.


Assistant to the president and deputy chief of staff for policy for President Barack Obama (2011-2013)

Americans and others around the world must join forces to protect democracy, and reading How to Save Democracy is a good place to start to fight back.


Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Last Honest Man: The CIA, the FBI, the Mafia and the Kennedysand one Senator's Fight to Save Democracy 


Merritt has performed an invaluable service: to hold the powerful to their word, while holding the rest of usthe peopleresponsible for protecting the best system of government yet devised. 


Member of the New York Times editorial board and author of Let the People Pick the President


How to Save Democracy is two-books-in-one: a collection of poetic quotations and simultaneously a how-to-save-democracy guide. Highly recommended for parents, teachers, activists, journalists, and nonprofits.


Former chairman of the Vanderbilt Board of Trust


How to Save Democracy captures the greatness and spirit of leaders from around the world who understand that the power of democracy is more than an idea—it is part of our very humanity. 


Executive director of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition and author of Let My People Vote: My Battle to Restore the Civil Rights of Returning Citizens


Democracy is indeed a project of humanity, and achieving it is hard work and needs structure and inspiration. Eli Merritt provides both in great surplus. 


Chancellor emeritus and distinguished professor of law and political science at Vanderbilt University


Read How to Save Democracy and learn how to protect yourself, your family, and your democracy. 


U.S. House of Representatives (1983-95, 2003-23)


As Jimmy Carter once said, “We become not a melting pot but a beautiful mosaic. Different people, different beliefs, different yearnings, different hopes, different dreams.” These are the same ideals that suffuse How to Save Democracy and the ones we must return to in order to restore our magnificent democracy. 


Special assistant for congressional affairs to President Jimmy Carter (1977-81)


Democracy’s Survival Depends on Fighting Demagogues. Here's Why.

The Los Angeles Times

The House select committee’s investigation of the Jan. 6 insurrection has hammered home a fundamental truth about democracy: this free form of government can be upended by demagogues when political party gatekeepers do not block their ascent to power. When gatekeepers fail in this critical duty, democracies deteriorate in a two-step process. First, a demagogue gains executive power, and then the demagogue devolves into authoritarianism, corrupting and dismantling the democracy itself to retain power. The leaders of both parties must embrace their sacred duty to thwart the rise of demagogues. Grasping this truth—that each party is responsible for counteracting its own demagogues—is a crucial starting point for rescuing American democracy from further decline.

Read on American Commonwealth


Would the Founders Convict Trump and Bar Him From Office?

The New York Times

Published on the opening day of the second impeachment trial of Donald Trump in the Senate, this op-ed argues that if the 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention were sitting as jurors in the trial, they would cast two near unanimous votes: first, to convict the president of an impeachable offense, and second, to disqualify him from holding future federal office. They would vote in this way because they believed as a matter of civic principle that ethical leadership is the glue that holds a constitutional republic together. The op-ed underscores that the framers of the Constitution wrote the language of the impeachment powers specifically with a demagogue like Trump in mind. As incisive political scientists steeped in history, they understood that demagogues are the singular poison that infects and kills republics and democracies. Today's gatekeepers of our constitutional democracy must understand the same lifesaving principle.


Read More

Featured Articles by Eli Merritt

Trump's Place in History? He is the Supreme American Demagogue

Los Angeles Times

It is never too early to begin to consider an ex-president's place in history. And, in the case of Donald J. Trump, what future historians are going to say is unambiguous. Trump’s fate in history is to become first among the cast of dishonored political figures known as "demagogues." Compared with Trump, famous demagogues like Huey Long and Joseph McCarthy will become footnotes. Trump will be remembered as the first full-blown demagogue in the White House, one who incited seditious violence on the U.S. Capitol — and for little else. Over time, Democrats and Republicans will unite in this historical understanding of the 45th president, just as they have long since reached consensus about Democrat Huey Long and Republican Joseph McCarthy. The judgment of Trump will not be a partisan matter. Republicans in particular should recognize this fact and get on the right side of history, even if it means enduring criticism from constituents and the loss of reelection to office.  


Read More

bottom of page