Minority Party: Why Democrats Face Defeat in 1992 and Beyond

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9780895265302: Minority Party: Why Democrats Face Defeat in 1992 and Beyond
From Kirkus Reviews:

Polemic arguing that the Democratic Party is headed for the dustbin of history because the core electorate--the white middle- class--perceives it as dominated by minority concerns. Brown, chief political writer for Scripps Howard News Service, says the Democrats are hiding from an unpleasant truth they've long known: that the white middle-class blames them for the welfare society, for reverse discrimination coming out of affirmative action, and for crime. Furthermore, Brown argues, many whites perceive Democrats as ``cater[ing] to racial minorities, the poor, and the elite liberal whites who [run] the party''--in other words, ``paying for the other guy.'' With a torrent of statistics and opinion-poll results, interviews of politicians, and folksy portraits of a few former Democrats who quit the party in disgust, Brown identifies a tremendous white backlash driven by prejudice, fear, and wounded self-interest and argues that liberal guilt is dead. The working class, he says, has been absorbed into the middle-class; union voting blocks are shrinking; and machine politics don't operate in the suburbs where the white middle-class has moved. Fed reality via a flickering TV screen and rootless after changing suburbs every few years, such white voters--by ``simple math'' the largest voting bloc--buy the Republican message of economic self-interest, Brown argues. If he's right, the Democrats, ignorant of such demographics, will continue to lose the presidency and will soon lose their control of Congress and state and local governments. Brown, far from impartial, will be wide open to charges of promoting the racism he describes. And there's a perversity to his implied thesis that Democrats can't win unless they become even more indistinguishable from Republicans. Moreover, like the GOP, Brown doesn't discuss the S&L debacle, deficits, or any evidence counter to his claim that the GOP serves the economic self-interest of the middle class. -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

The Democratic party's inability to win presidential elections, Brown reports, reflects failure to address the needs and values of America's middle class. His numerous interviews with politicos and citizens, from which he quotes extensively, reveal an electorate that feels forgotten by the Democrats. Especially chilling is the overt racial component of the resentment he chronicles: "the middle classes no longer considered the rich the enemy. Instead they saw the black underclass as the enemy . . . because of the tax money it extorted." Brown challenges the Democrats to identify with working people and to promote policies that reward working or to resign themselves to minority status. While Brown's journalistic style is less analytic than Thomas B. Edsall's Chain Reaction: The Impact of Race, Rights, and Taxes on American Politics (scheduled for review in LJ 9/15/91), his conclusions will provoke debate. Recommended for large politics collections.
- Grace Franklin, Columbus Metropolitan Lib., Ohio
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Brown, Peter
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