Shasta County, California has become a laboratory for far-right activists in search of power. The county has long been a Republic outpost in a blue state, but since the COVID-19 pandemic, local politics have taken a hard right turn. A recall election in 2022 swept a moderate Republican majority from the County Board of Supervisors in favor of a new class of extremists. Buoyed by popular discontent with mask mandates and school closures, Shasta’s newly elected rulers have turned their sights on eliminating voting machines, purging “Critical Race Theory” and LGBTQ-friendly content from schools, and trying to force all local officials to take an oath on the Second Amendment. Those who stand in their way, like former County Public Health Officer Karen Ramstrom, or local journalist Doni Chamberlain, have found themselves the targets of political retaliation and even public death threats. The Marc Steiner Show digs into the disturbing developments in Shasta County and what they might presage for the country’s future, turning to journalists Sasha Abramsky and Doni Chamberlain for their expertise.
Sasha Abramsky is a regular contributor to The Nation and the author of several books. He recently wrote an article for The Nation on the far-right takeover in Shasta.
Doni Chamberlain is an award-winning independent journalist and co-founder of A News Cafe. She lives in Redding, California.
Studio Production: David Hebden
Post-Production: David Hebden
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