Everywhere in America, the forces of digitization, innovation, and personalization are expanding our options and bettering the way we live. Everywhere, that is, except in our politics. There we are held hostage to an eighteenth century system, dominated by two political parties whose ever-more-polarized rhetorical positions mask a mutual interest in maintaining a stranglehold on power. The Declaration of Independents is a compelling and extremely entertaining manifesto on behalf of a system better suited to the future--one structured by the essential libertarian principles of free minds and free markets. Gillespie and Welch profile libertarian innovators, identify the villains propping up the ancien regime, and take aim at do-something government policies that hurt most of those they claim to protect. Their vision will resonate with a wide swath of frustrated citizens and young voters, born after the Cold War's end, to whom old tribal allegiances, prejudices, and hang-ups about everything from hearing a foreign language on the street to gay marriage to drug use simply do not make sense. (Publisher's description)
Ricci (political science and American studies, Hebrew U., Jerusalem) teases out the script that political conservatives in the US have used to get or remain in power despite the devastation their actions have caused across the country and the world. He is particularly interested in how the pieces fit together into a seamless whole. He covers rhetorical ploys: rejections, irrefutables, and promotions; articles of faith: enemies, enchantments, and stories; and the reality check of a tale against tales. Liberals cannot construct an alternative, he says, because they think too much, but can counter the conservative tale.
Introduction: The state of the parties: change and continuity in 2008 / Daniel J. Coffey and John C. Green -- Was 2008 a watershed election? Observing the state of the parties in the election results / John R. Petrocik -- Party factions in 2008 / Howard L. Reiter -- The state of party elites: national convention delegates, 1992-2008 / John S. Jackson and John C. Green -- Electoral politics as team sport: advantage to the Democrats / David B. Magleby -- Party on the periphery: the 2008 presidential election in Mahoning County / Melanie J. Blumberg ... [et al.] -- The party's still going: local party strength and activity in 2008 / Melody Crowder-Meyer -- The Obama netroots campaign, young voters, and the future of local party organizations / Daniel M. Shea -- The Internetilization of American parties: the implications of the Unity08 effort / Kira C. Allmann ... [et al.] -- Organizing for America / Barbara Trish -- The need for an integrated vision of parties and candidates: national political party finances, 1999-2008 / Michael J. Malbin ... [et al.] -- Back to the future? Campaign-finance reform and the declining importance of the national party organization / Raymond J. La Raja -- Flush with cash: individual campaign contributors in the 2008 elections / Costas Panagopoulos and John C. Green -- Fallen elephant: examining the Grand Old Party's fall from grace / Daniel J. Coffey -- Unintended consequences: Republican strategy and winning and losing voters / Rebekah E. Liscio, Jeffrey M. Stonecash, and Mark D. Brewer -- The campaign context for partisanship stability / J. Quin Monson, Kelly D. Patterson, and Jeremy C. Pope -- A political theory of partisanship and independence / Nancy L. Rosenblum -- Barack Obama and the partisan presidency / Richard M. Skinner -- Party governance under Speaker Nancy Pelosi / R. Lawrence Butler -- Party, constituency, and representation in Congress / Walter J. Stone and Matthew T. Pietryka.
While frustration with various aspects of American democracy abound in the United States, there is little agreement over - or even understanding of - what kinds of changes would make the system more effective and increase political participation. Matthew J. Streb sheds much needed light on all the major concerns of the electoral process in this timely book on improving American electoral democracy. This critical examination of the rules and institutional arrangements that shape the American electoral process analyzes the major debates that embroil scholars and reformers on subjects ranging from the number of elections we hold and the use of nonpartisan elections, to the presidential nominating process and campaign finance laws. Ultimately, Streb argues for a less burdensome democracy, a democracy in which citizens can participate more easily in transparent, competitive elections. This book is designed to get students of elections and American political institutions to think critically about what it means to be democratic and how democratic the United States really is. Part of the Controversies in Electoral Democracy and Representationseries, edited by Matthew J. Streb. (Publisher's Description)