A crucial year

2024 is certain to be a trying year for our republic. Our freedom and self-government will be tested, potentially to the point of breaking. Every citizen, in ways big and small, will face choice points that could shape whether or not our democracy survives.

If You Can Keep It breaks down the top issues in authoritarianism and democracy in the United States. It is brought to you free of cost by Protect Democracy. But it exists exclusively to equip you with what you need to know about what’s happening in our democracy and what you can do about it. 

Our experts go deep on the critical stories and complex issues beyond partisanship and campaign politics. Can the 2024 election be conducted freely and fairly? Will the next president be committed to constitutional government — or at least constrained by checks & balances? How can we ensure democratic decision-making is based on a shared, fact-based reality? What are the reforms necessary to build a more representative, inclusive, and resilient democracy? 

But this is nothing new. Democracy has never been self-sustaining. As Benjamin Franklin famously said — when asked what kind of government the Constitutional Convention had produced — “A Republic, if you can keep it.” 

We must find a way. 

This briefing is a product of United to Protect Democracy, a 501(c)(4) tax-exempt organization. Learn more.

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Insights and ideas on democracy in trying times. From Protect Democracy, a nonpartisan, nonprofit group working to prevent authoritarianism.


Ben Raderstorf is a policy advocate at Protect Democracy. He helps direct policy and communications work around systemic threats to American democracy. His writing has been published in The New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Bulwark.
Sohini Desai is a communications specialist at protect democracy who supports policy and strategic communications work around threats to American democracy and democracy-building reforms.
Editor at Protect Democracy https://protectdemocracy.org/. Subscribe to If You Can Keep It!! https://protectdemocracy.org/get-updates/ Prior Bulwark archive here https://www.thebulwark.com/author/amanda-carpenter/
Ian Bassin is co-founder and Executive Director of Protect Democracy. He previously served as Associate White House Counsel, where he counseled the President and senior White House staff on administrative and constitutional law.
Director of Impact Programs & Counsel, Free & Fair Elections @ Protect Democracy
Grant Tudor develops and advocates for a range of reforms to shore up our democratic institutions. He received his MBA from Harvard Business School and MPP from Harvard Kennedy School where he was a Fellow at the Center for Public Leadership.
Michael Angeloni is a Research Associate at Protect Democracy. His work focuses on constraining executive overreach and the threats of rising global authoritarianism.
Counsel at Protect Democracy
Chris Crawford is a policy strategist for free & fair elections at Protect Democracy. Through the Faith in Elections project, he works with faith communities across religious traditions and political perspectives to strengthen our elections.
Edgar Lin is Protect Democracy’s Wisconsin lead for policy advocacy and litigation focusing on preventing election subversion. Former trial lawyer (WI public defender / private practice).
Stephanie is Co-Managing Director and a counsel at Protect Democracy. She oversees the strategic direction and organizational development of the organization.
Aisha Woodward leads a team at Protect Democracy focused on constraining the abuse of presidential power, restoring congressional oversight of the executive branch, and growing the pro-democracy coalition.
John Langford is a counsel who focuses primarily on issues related to the First Amendment, newsgathering, free expression, and disinformation at Protect Democracy.
Protect Democracy is a nonpartisan, nonprofit group working to prevent authoritarianism.
Former civil rights prosecutor, current pro-democracy lawyer. K-State/Oxford/Harvard Law grad.
Conor Gaffney serves as a counsel at Protect Democracy, working to secure accountability for abuses of power.
Justin Florence co-founded Protect Democracy and, as Managing Director, oversees the organization’s work to advance its mission, including legal, policy, advocacy and communications strategies.
Genevieve Nadeau leads our team focused on defending against a range of authoritarian threats at the state and national levels, using a combination of strategic litigation, policy advocacy, and communications.
William Ford is a policy advocate at Protect Democracy, where he advocates for measures to protect the civil service and strengthen Congress's constitutional power of the purse.
Technology Policy Strategist working to combat anti-democratic applications of technology, including voter suppression and disinformation. Former Facebook.
Aaron Baird is a comms strategist at Protect Democracy. His work centers on spreading the message about the threats facing American democracy, particularly disinformation.
Jennifer Dresden is a policy strategist at Protect Democracy. She was previously a member of the faculty and the Associate Director of the Democracy and Governance Program at Georgetown University.
David Andrew Weinberg is a Policy Strategist at Protect Democracy. He previously served as a Senior Professional Staff Member with the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol.
Democracy advocate focused on strengthening Congress and federal checks and balances.
Chris Parr is an Impact Specialist at Protect Democracy. He previously served as a legal analyst in the Department of Defense Office of General Counsel and as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps.
Deborah Apau is a research specialist dedicated to supporting Protect Democracy’s mission of creating a truly representative democracy.
Jane Petersen Bentrott is a litigator who focuses on combating disinformation that undermines our democracy.
Ori Lev is a Special Counsel with Protect Democracy. He previously served in a number of federal government agencies and as a partner at a major international law firm. Ori is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Yale Law School.