Being Right Is Not Enough: What Progressives Must Learn from Conservative Success

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9780471789604: Being Right Is Not Enough: What Progressives Must Learn from Conservative Success
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""Waldman's book is terrific-good sense mustered with evidence, well argued, and sharply written to boot. I agree fervently with almost everything he writes. This is the indispensable book for the 2006 elections.""
--Todd Gitlin, author of The Sixties and The Twilight of Common Dreams
""A well-sourced, partisan blueprint for undoing Republican control of the nation.""
--Publishers Weekly
""Here's the ticket for Democrats to get back in power: read this book, understand what it means to be a true American progressive, expose conservatives as the mean elitists they are, get tough, and fight back. Nobody paints the strengths of progressives and the weaknesses of conservatives like Paul Waldman.""
--Bill Press, author How the Republicans Stole Christmas
""With clarity and passion, Paul Waldman demonstrates persuasively that the forces of the right have not 'taken over the country, ' as the media often lazily put it. They've only taken over politics. That can be reversed, and Waldman shows exactly how.""
--Michael Tomasky, Editor, the American Prospect

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From the Inside Flap:

The 2006 elections could be a major turning point for the Democratic Party, but they'll need more than poor poll numbers for Bush to build a new progressive majority. What will it take to break the right wing's stranglehold on power? Can progressives turn the tables by understanding and adapting the highly successful strategies and tactics developed by the right?

In Being Right Is Not Enough, political analyst Paul Waldman offers Democrats and progressives a clear-eyed, multifaceted strategy for victory in elections, policy debates, and the fundamental battle between progressivism and conservatism. The time has come, he says, for progressives to borrow several pages from the right-wing playbook and beat them at their own game. The book outlines an exhaustive list of things progressives must do, and do soon, including:

  • Create a single progressive movement—not a collection of interest groups—devoted to the twin goals of fighting conservatism and advancing a progressive worldview
  • Agree on a core set of progressive principles and create a progressive master narrative that unifies them
  • Understand that political success comes not from the details of policy plans but from the communication of character and values
  • Stop pandering to the voters who dislike them the most and find new ways to create a lasting majority
  • Devote themselves not to short-term victories but to a long-term vision of the progressive America they want to create—even if it takes decades to get there
  • Stop worrying about whether the elite media approve of them
  • Stop being timid and become warriors for their cause

Waldman provides more than a list of suggestions. He specifies techniques and strategies aimed at increasing the number of progressive commentators and pundits in the media, identifying strengths and weaknesses that should guide progressive strategies in the future, and defining progressive ideology in terms that all Americans will embrace.

Just what the pollster ordered for the Democratic Party, Being Right Is Not Enough provides a hard-hitting, insightful, and pragmatic vision for progressives of every stripe who are tired of losing and ready for victory.

About the Author:

PAUL WALDMAN is a Senior Fellow at Media Matters for America, and a founder of gadflyer.com. His writing has also been featured in the ""American Prospect,"" ""The Washington Post,"" ""The Washington Monthly,"" and ""Salon.com,"" as well as many scholarly journals.

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