Michele Swenson

Author, activist

During her first career as a nurse in the pre-Roe 1970s, Swenson worked with women who died due to pregnancies contraindicated for health reasons. Her subsequent exploration of issues surrounding women's health care led to decades-long research of Christian fundamentalist and gun-centered ideology. Her book, "Democracy Under Assault: TheoPolitics, Incivility and Violence on the Right" ( is an in-depth examination of resurgent 19th century Christian nativism, science and socioeconomic Darwinism, the fractured church-state divide, assaults on the independent judiciary and revisionist history that have marked the rise of the political right. The work illumines the subversion of language and the Constitution by unholy alliances on the right, with contemporary erosion of democracy and degraded public discourse. Swenson has written extensively about issues of local community rights, single payer health care, and the corporate subversion of democracy and consequent wealth transfer upward.