The Party's Not Over: A New Vision For The Democrats

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9780465004034: The Party's Not Over: A New Vision For The Democrats
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A blueprint for the Democratic party's future cautioning leaders to reevaluate the "New Democrat" position of deregulated global markets and conservative social values. Faux (president, Economic Policy Institute) roots his convincing argument by pointing out how Republicans are now suffering for their social Darwinism, and proposing that Democrats save their skins by focusing the party on the working family, updating this traditional center to fit today's global realities. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

An undistinguished, predictable entrant in this election year's flurry of books on how the nation's politics should be reformed. For Faux, an unabashed liberal who served as an advisor to President Clinton's 1992 campaign, the present Democratic Party will not do. ``The closer one gets to the centers of power anywhere in America,'' he writes, the more ``its clubby bipartisan nature is revealed'': Businesses and lobbyists court Republicans and Democrats equally. Instead, he longs for a revived liberal tradition in which government is an instrument to ``create the economic environment that would enable individuals to pursue their own moral and social destinies,'' and in which the good and bad guys are clearly distinguishable. When describing the wrongs in our present way of governing ourselves, Faux is strong on particulars, as when he notes the impropriety of United Parcel Service lobbyist Dorothy Livingston Strunk's having been the principal author of a Republican-sponsored draft Senate bill to gut the Occupational Safety and Health Agency, UPS being the ``number-one violator of OSHA standards in the country.'' In the manner of most polemicists, though, Faux is also quick to paint with a wide brush, as when he remarks breezily and unhelpfully that the April 1995 Oklahoma City bombing exposed ``a dark side to conservative politics.'' And when he comes to making prescriptions for the future, Faux falls into vague sloganeering. At his strongest, he urges legislators to remember that in making economic choices about such matters as balancing the budget and buying new weapons systems, they are also making moral choices. He maintains that the Democrats will have to forge a stronger image of their party as the standardbearer for working people. ``Win or lose the 1996 election,'' he says, ``those who care about the Democratic Party must radically reinvent it or watch it go out of business.'' Only policy junkies will find much of interest in these pages. -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

For liberal Democrats searching for recognition both by their own party and the general electorate, this book offers some intriguing suggestions. Faux, a 1992 Clinton campaign adviser, president of the Economic Policy Institute, and contributor to the New York Times and other publications, argues that the Democratic Party's message has become too much like that of the Republicans and consequently has seen its popular appeal eroding. After a brief but rather liberal interpretation of political history since FDR, he explains how the GOP sweep in the 1994 congressional elections caused the Democrats, in their desire to be accepted, to adopt a platform calling for smaller government, balanced budgets, and cuts in federal programs. In Faux's opinon, the clear winners here are the Republicans. Faux proposes a new Democratic platform: liberal nationalism based on class interests. By convincing voters that the economic system is broken and can only be repaired by a government interested in the welfare of working Americans can the Democratic party reconnect with its natural constituencies. While conservatives will see the book as more liberal whining, traditional liberals and independents will enjoy it. For academic and larger public library political collections.?Thomas J. Baldino, Wilkes Univ., Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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