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Politics in the Trenches: Citizens, Politicians, and the Fate of Democracy Paperback – January 1, 2001
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The above quote, unfortunately, appears to reflect the feelings of a majority of both the constituents and elected officials in the United States. In an effort to enlighten and elevate the average American citizen above the level of an armchair analyst, Thomas J. Volgy, after fourteen years in public office and a thirty year career as a political scientist, wrote Politics in the Trenches: Citizens, Politicians, and the Fate of Democracy.
"Politics is a constant process of conflict over values and policy positions". Everyone who's taken a government or civics class, has voted, or knows anyone in politics should know this. In Trenches, Volgy feels it's necessary that all citizens know and remember this point to continue the American democratic experiment. Without our social capital, our democracy "will wither and die." How true...
Volgy's most important ideas presented in Politics in the Trenches are (in no specific order): the Founding Fathers were pragmatists, rather than ideologues; local governance and involvement in the local laboratory is key to the connection between citizens and national ideologies, including direct democracy and representation; negative portrayals and simplification of complex issues in "time bites" by the American media create an artificial closeness; whether the news is actually useful; campaign finance is strongly needed to level the playing field and allow for a modest turnover so more people can be a part of the experiment.Read more ›