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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The two-party system: The great and powerful Oz, American style, August 6, 2009
This review is from: Grand Illusion: The Myth of Voter Choice in a Two-Party Tyranny (Hardcover)
Reading Theresa Amato's GRAND ILLUSION: THE MYTH OF VOTER CHOICE IN A TWO-PARTY TYRANNY, I think of the climactic scene in the movie THE WIZARD OF OZ where Dorothy and her friends learn the great and powerful Oz is in reality just a meager, middle-aged man hiding behind a curtain. That's because while America thinks of itself as a role model for democracy, the duopoly of its Democratic and Republican political parties make it nearly impossible for independent and small party (or, as author Amato calls them, third party) candidates to even get on a ballot, let alone win and be able to represent those who support them. A democracy where only two voices are heard by the electorate is not a democracy.

Americans enter the voting booth as Dorothy does the Emerald City, but as curtains - the voting booth's and the one hiding that meager little man - get pulled back, the former's votes take on the same significance as what Toto the dog reveals to the latter. Theresa Amato should know, having worked as campaign manager for Green Party and independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader. Her first-hand accounts of harassment the Nader campaign and other non-Democratic/Republican office seekers experience make me wonder why GRAND ILLUSION does not come with an air sickness bag, so nauseating are the stories. Along with the Democratic and Republican parties, complicit are too many in the judicial system and corporate media in keeping the people's power in the hands of the few. You sometimes hear individuals say, "Why don't you run for office if you don't like the way things are going?" Well, as this book tells it, unless you sell out to the Democrats or Republicans and the moneyed interests that control them, running for office may only get you as far as running in place would.

Will American democracy remain somewhere over the rainbow? Read GRAND ILLUSION.
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Location: New Jersey

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