The Uncivil War: How a New Elite is Destroying Our Democracy

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9781589791510: The Uncivil War: How a New Elite is Destroying Our Democracy
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This controversial book describes how the New Elite-a self-selected class whose members believe they know what's good for the rest of us-has been systematically attacking our tradition of majority rule. The capture of our political parties by extremists, campaigns based on anger rather than issues, laws created by unelected judges, congressmen immune from defeat, and an alienated and ignored electorate-all these represent a calculated effort of a new class to replace the public will with its own.
Who are the New Elite? They are, Lebedoff asserts, the self-proclaimed "smartest people in the land," a test-score "meritocracy" that believes that the consent of the governed has been made obsolete by the SAT. If presidential hopefuls such as Howard Dean appear to represent this new class, or to disdain traditional values, he will be rejected by a public less fearful of Bush's ties to the elite of wealth than by dominance of the anti-democratic new elite. The New Elite is as much about perception as substance, Lebedoff further claims, citing Al Gore's defeat to George Bush as representative of the rejection of someone who sounded like a member of the new class.
Dean faces the same problem-maybe more so, because the real fight is not between liberals and conservatives but between those who believe in majority rule and those who believe in rule by experts. By revealing the causes of our retreat from democracy, The Uncivil War helps us learn how to regain the right to govern ourselves.

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About the Author:

David Lebedoff is the author of numerous articles and several books of social and political commentary, including The New Elite. He lives in Minneapolis.

Review:

Fascinating, thought-provoking book... definitely worth a read (Barbara Flanagan, Star Tribune)

With America more divided than at any time since the 1960s, it's time to take a step back and thoughfully puzzle out the causes of our differences; this is what author and lawyer David Lebedoff tries to do in The Uncivil War. The book does not disappoint. Lebedoff has found an original and brilliant way to illuminate contemporary politics and culture. He provides a look at modern society through a lens that is once thoughtful, novel, and fun. (Stanley Kurtz, National Review)

Lebedoff describes an epic social struggle occurring at present between 'New Elites' and the 'Left Behinds.'

Lebedoff has found an original and brilliant way to illuminate contemporary politics and culture. (Stanley Kurtz, National Review)

Lebedoff writes elegantly. (The New York Times)

Lebenoff always writes fascinating, thought provoking books... definitely worth a read. (Star Tribune)

Once again David Lebedoff has turned his laser eye to the American polity and American politics. Anyone wanting to understand either should read this book, which is a swift read and a narrative prize. (Ben Wattenberg, American Enterprise Institute)

Mr. David Lebedoff addresses here an issue as timely as the front page of your daily newspaper and as ancient as Aristotle: 'Who makes the laws?' Aristotle observes that a polity can have government by the one, the few, or the many, and that the conflict over which is to prevail creates permanent instability. The ensuing history of Europe amply demonstrated this. In 1787, the American founders tried to solve the problem of perpetual instability through their theory of mixed government, but, finally, they made 'We the People' the first three words of the Constitution, the basis for the laws. The sense of the people, in order to be deliberate was to be filtered through the constitutional process. But We the People finally wrote the laws. The founders, after all, had just won a revolution against government by the one. Their founding principle is now under assault by an effort to establish "government by the few," government by law school graduates being one expression of this. Mr. Lebedoff offers here a profound analysis of how this has come to pass. (Jeffrey Hart)

Lebedoff shines a powerful beam of light into the deep social and political waters of the last thirty years, the light of intelligence and concrete observation, and he is consciously in the mainstream of the American democratic political tradition. In his precision and his lucidity, he is a latter-day Toqueville. (Jeffrey Hart National Review)

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