- Tapa blanda: 336 páginas
- Editor: Basic Books (28 de agosto de 2007)
- Idioma: Inglés
- ISBN-10: 0465018165
- ISBN-13: 978-0465018161
- Valoración media de los clientes: Sé el primero en opinar sobre este producto
Building Red America: The New Conservative Coalition and the Drive for Permanent Power the Drive for Permanent Power (Inglés) Tapa blanda – 28 ago 2007
Descripción del producto
"Easily the best book on the politics of race in recent years...ambitious and unsettling." "The best book on how race colors national politics in the U.S., written by one of the Washington Post's top political reporters." "Brilliantly illuminates the Democratic Party's mistakes and its problems.... Should be read by anyone with an interest in American politics." "Edsall has been reporting the nuts and guts of American politics for decades now, and there is no more reliable guide to infrastructural facts." -- Todd Gitlin
Reseña del editor
This powerful examination of the present and future of American politics, by one of America's most distinguished political journalists, reveals how the Republican Party has gained a long-term institutional advantage that allows it to shrug off apparent setbacks like the 2006 elections. Building Red America takes us deeper than any previous book into the operations of the power brokers and issues that galvanize voters.Ver Descripción del producto
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This book is a fine introduction to political demography and recent electoral and social history in the United States, and deserves to be entertained by serious students of politics, not the hacks that have reviewed it so far.
But things began to change in the 1980's when voters- many of them lifetime supporters of the Democratic Party- began to switch to the Republican camp. How this happened, and what Republicans did to make it happen, are the main subjects of this book. It breaks down, piece by piece, the Republican strategy that began in the 1980's and continues today. It is a multi- faceted strategy that capitalizes on the general support of big business; the importance of religion to many American families; the economic independence and classical economic approach favored by a growing number of Americans; and the general backlash of many voters against what they perceive as an unfair and/or immoral advantage given to certain groups based on minority or "oppressed" status.
Author Thomas Edsall writes this book in an informative way and he refrains from making judgments or criticizing the strategies used by Republicans. All he wants to do is point out what his research (and the research of others) has confirmed and offer a few talking points on what Democrats can do to win back some of its disgruntled voters. This lack of opinion will suit some readers just fine, but it will irritate others who prefer a more scrutinizing approach. I like the book and I agree that it is an invaluable resource for understanding the tactics used by Republicans to reshape politics, but I would like it even more if it spent at least a little time talking about the deceptions used by Republicans. Like, for example, the Republican strategy to "Starve the Beast": Reduce taxes to cut government revenues to the point that government will have to become leaner and more efficient. As anyone knows with minimal research, this claim/strategy is utter nonsense. Republicans have indeed reduced some taxes, but they have continued to grow government regardless of the revenue stream; making up the difference by borrowing and exploding the size of the federal deficit. Edsall talks about this strategy like it is true. But most anyone can look at the data on government spending and clearly see the totals soaring skyward, regardless of the amount of tax revenue. Also, little discussion is made of the Republican tendency to increase the scope of government; making government more intrusive into private lives and attempting to legislate the Republican Party's own (im)morality on the public at large. Edsall mentions this fact only briefly when he talks about the dissatisfaction felt by many over the Republican tendency to try to control what goes on in one's bedroom. But he doesn't say much else about this; again, leading readers to believe the false Republican claim of working toward smaller government.
Edsall does spend some time at the end of the book talking about Democratic Party strengths and weaknesses and this part of the book would be very good for those who are actively working to revive the Democratic Party and win back the confidence of the voting public. But there is one important fact about this book that is worth noting: It was published in August, 2006, three months before the midterm elections. During these elections, Democrats took control of both houses of Congress. Does this invalidate the material in Edsall's book? No, it does not, because the basic strategies of Republicans as they are described in this book are accurate and well- known. It was the war against Iraq and a few other issues that won the Congress for the Democrats. This victory could prove to be short- lived if the Democratic Party returns to its political strategies of the recent past.
Overall, Building Red America is a very good book about the political roadmap of the United States and the tactics used by Republicans to win over more voters and squeeze out victories in spite of its failure to deliver on its own promises. There is little analysis of these strategies in the book and Edsall avoids criticizing these tactics. But his book is very informative and flawlessly written and while it might be a little too factual and dry for some readers, it offers a very good synopsis of the Republican strategy to realign voters into the conservative camp.
In 2006 most Americans had lost confidence in George W. Bush and his unwon wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. In the November elections the Democrats won both houses of Congress for the first time since 1992. Two years later they maintained majorities in Congress while winning the White House.
Nine years later, and seven years into the disappointing administration of Barack Obama, Building Red America deserves a second look.
In 1969 Kevin Phillips’ The Emerging Republican Majority predicted just that. In 1974 Democrats thought the Watergate Scandal negated Phillips’ prediction. Nevertheless, Americans who voted for Richard Nixon in 1972 and who in 1974 thought he should resign did not wish that they had voted for George McGovern. They wished that in 1972 they had been able to vote for someone who had Nixon’s values and goals without his penchant for self destruction.
In 1980 when they had the opportunity to vote for Ronald Reagan they enthusiastically did so. Reagan turned out to be to the right of Nixon. Nevertheless, he left office a popular leader, despite a scandal that in some respects was worse than Watergate. A reason Reagan had been elected in 1980 was hostility for Iran. Reagan was caught selling weapons to Iran. No matter. He still left office a popular leader.
Two years after Franklin Roosevelt was elected in 1932 unemployment declined from 23.6% to 21.7%
Two years after Barack Obama was elected in 2008 unemployment rose from 5.8% to 9.3%.
Although the unemployment rate has finally declined to below where it was when President Obama was inaugurated, median income adjusted for inflation has declined under the President. Most Americans have gone for years without a raise, or they are working at jobs that pay less than the jobs they lost. Meanwhile, the Affordable Care Act remains unpopular with a large segment of the U.S. population.
After two years in office Franklin Roosevelt demonstrated that the government could make a positive difference in the lives of most Americans. After seven years in office. Barack Obama has still not demonstrated that.
As of this writing Hillary Clinton is ahead of every Republican primary candidate in the polls. It may be that most Americans have concluded that as bad as things may be for them, things would be worse under a Republican president.
Moreover, on important social issues the electorate has moved to the left. In 1980 most Americans opposed inter racial marriage. Now most Americans support homosexual marriage. The Republican Party can no longer get low income white Americans to vote against their economic issues by taking conservative stands on social issues.
Nevertheless, it must be acknowledged that the Obama administration has been a missed opportunity for the Democrats.