Image - Ari Berman and detail from his book cover
San Francisco

Ari Berman: Minority Rule and Resisting the Right-Wing Attack on Democracy

In-person TicketsOnline-only Tickets

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“The will of the people,” Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1801, “is the only legitimate foundation of any government.” But that foundation is crumbling.

Join us as journalist Ari Berman describes what he calls a decades-long effort by reactionary white conservatives to undermine democracy and entrench their power―and the movement to stop them.

The mob that stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021, represented an extreme form of the central danger facing American democracy today: a blatant disregard for the will of the majority. But this crisis didn’t begin or end with Donald Trump’s attempt to overturn the 2020 election. Through voter suppression, election subversion, gerrymandering, dark money, the takeover of the courts, and the whitewashing of history, Berman says reactionary white conservatives have strategically entrenched power in the face of a massive demographic and political shift. He has followed these efforts, chronicling how a wide range of antidemocratic tactics interact with profound structural inequalities in institutions like the Electoral College, the Senate, and the Supreme Court to threaten the survival of representative government in America.

Some counter-majoritarian measures were deliberately built into the Constitution, but Berman says they have metastasized to a degree that the Founding Fathers could never have anticipated, undermining the very notion of “a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.” Don’t miss his talk on the long history of the conflict between white supremacy and multiracial democracy that has reached a fever pitch today―while also telling the inspiring story of resistance to these regressive efforts.


This program has 2 types of tickets available: in-person and online-only. Please pre-register to receive a link to the live-stream event.

If you have symptoms of illness (coughing, fever, etc.), we ask that you either stay home or wear a mask. Our front desk has complimentary masks for members and guests who would like one.

Commonwealth Club World Affairs of California is a nonprofit public forum; we welcome donations made during registration to support the production of our programming.

Copies of Minority Rule are available for purchase during checkout (U.S. domestic shipping only).

Photo by Ports Bishop.

All ticket sales are final and nonrefundable.

Tue, May 7 / 6:00 PM PDT

The Commonwealth Club of California
110 The Embarcadero
Taube Family Auditorium
San Francisco, CA 94105
United States

Image - Ari Berman

Ari Berman

National Voting Rights Correspondent, Mother Jones and The Center for Investigative Reporting; Author, Minority Rule: The Right-Wing Attack on the Will of the People—and the Fight to Resist It; X @Ariberman

Image - Clara Jeffery

In Conversation with Clara Jeffery

  Editor in Chief, Mother Jones and The Center for Investigative Reporting; X @ClaraJeffery


5:30 p.m. doors open & check-in
6–7 p.m. program
7 p.m. book signing
(all times Pacific Time)


$15 members
$25 nonmembers
$45 members with a book
$55 nonmembers with a book
Free for Leadership Circle members and students (without a book)
Free for members
$10 nonmembers
$30 members with a book
$40 nonmembers with a book
Free for Leadership Circle members and students (without a book)