The Democrats Must Lead: The Case For A Progressive Democratic Party

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9780813315690: The Democrats Must Lead: The Case For A Progressive Democratic Party

All over the world, political parties are being born and political pluralism is being fostered. Ironically, here in the United States the parties are blurring together ideologically, and the political process is suffering: One of the messages of this book is that a vital two-party system is essential to America's political health. The last thing this country needs, the authors argue, is two Republican parties. At this critical moment in history, the Democratic party has the opportunity to offer the nation a real political choice, a sense of direction, and a program to address the needs of Americans in a changing world. It is time, they say, for a change--a change that only the Democrats can provide.
As recounted here, a generation of Republican administrations have had their chance. The results have not been happy: deepening social divisions, heightened inequalities in income distributions, a decaying educational system, environmental exploitation, an insensitivity to the concerns of the less powerful, the largest public debt in history, and a foreign policy based on force. Recurring constitutional crises have also erupted, as epitomized by the Iran-Contra affair. The record is a sorry one.
Alternatives exist and the best ones rest with the Democratic party. The Democrats must lead. It is their responsibility to offer a new vision of the future and the means for achieving it; a program that is compassionate, just, and inclusive of all.
Challenging and thought-provoking, these essays should help reshape political thinking during a critical period in the nation's history. Their objective is a society that represents and responds to human needs, and the authors indicate the way to achieve these goals through an invigorated, forward-looking Democratic party.

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From Publishers Weekly:

This collection of advocacy essays by liberal academics goes against some conventional wisdom in claiming that Democrats can win only "by appealing to a liberal constituency with liberal values." Most telling is Jerome Mileur's argument, based on an analysis of the 1988 presidential race, that the Democrats should abandon the South and seek votes in the growing Western states, which are more philosophically compatible with the party's Northeastern base. Samuel Bowles, David M. Gordon and Thomas Weisskopf call for an "economic democracy" that eliminates inequities, discrimination and dependency on employer or spouse; they also call for an increase in public, democratically controlled investment. Other useful essays emphasize that the U.S. should rely more on the United Nations and respect international human rights and that voter registration should be simplified to increase participation. While this book is aimed at a general audience, a few essays--on political parties and use of television--are dry and academic, and others--on women and Latinos--lack subtlety in their analysis of those constituencies. Burns is the author of The Crosswinds of Freedom ; Duke is associate professor of political science at Clemson University.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

This highly personal political call to arms is truly an advocacy book. It urges that the Democratic Party must take up the burden of leadership and move the nation away from the politics of selfishness and greed. Though written by political scientists, the chapters constitute little more than impassioned tract writing espousing a self-conscious return to old-fashioned liberal political values. Their advice directly controverts the more pragmatic call to action championed by Barney Frank in Frankly Speaking ( LJ 2/15/92). Like most edited volumes, this one lacks a unified writing style. Suitable for large academic and public libraries. Previewed in "On the Campaign Book Trail," LJ 3/15/92, p. 110-112.
- Grace Franklin, Columbus Metropolitan Lib., Ohio
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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