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Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream Paperback – June 2, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Coauthored by Atlantic Monthly writers Douthat and Salam, this book (like David Frum's Comeback) is part of a movement to reconstruct the Republican Party's core principles and reinvigorate the conservative electorate. The authors' strategy is to win back the working class through a combination of prudent government intervention and entrepreneurship. Relying on a bevy of sociological analysis, class scrutiny and historicism—a style resembling New York Times columnist David Brooks's, but stripped of his literary flair—Douthat and Salam take a nuts-and-bolts approach, perhaps because their book is prescriptive rather than observational, policy advocacy not entertainment. Whether or not readers will agree with the tenor of their arguments, rarely have moderate conservative ideas been so intelligently streamlined and so self-consciously pruned of conservatism's hairier iterations. The real holes in the text are the lack of cogent discussions on immigration and the war against radical Islam—the very issues currently shaping working-class politics in America. Nevertheless, this book is stuffed with fresh and brilliant ideas and presents a solid domestic conservative agenda to win over blue-collar workers. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
“If I could put one book on the desk of every Republican officeholder, Grand New Party would be it. . . . The best single roadmap of where the party should and is likely to head.”—David Brooks, The New York Times “Any Republican politician worried about his party's eroding base and grim prospects should make a careful study of this book.”—The New Yorker“Smart and intriguing. . . . Grand New Party is brimming with ideas.”—Los Angeles Times“Thoughtful and important. . . . Mr. Douthat and Mr. Salam are pioneering tomorrow's conservatism today.”—U.S. News & World Report“A valuable guide to the problems and prospects of both the GOP and the working class.”—New York Post“An entirely original critique of how both liberals and conservatives have misdiagnosed the problems of a key American constituency.”—Commentary Magazine“Thoughtful and important-a guidebook for Republicans in distress.”—David Frum, author of Comeback: Conservatism That Can Win Again and The Right Man“If you want to read a serious, sane, secular, constructive argument about where conservatism needs to go, this is a great place to start. Few conservatives are as honest about the practical policy challenges the right faces in an increasingly pluralist and unequal society. And very few actually have something positive to offer in the face of it. I disagreed with much of this book, but I never failed to be enlightened and provoked on almost every page.”—Andrew Sullivan, author of The Conservative Soul“We hope no Republicans read Ross Douthat and Reihan Salam's new book, because if they do, they might get an idea of how to undermine the emerging Democratic majority.”—John B. Judis and Ruy Teixeira, authors of The Emerging Democratic Majority“Ross Douthat and Reihan Salam are two dazzlingly smart and blazingly original young conservatives. In Grand New Party, they give Republicans-and all Americans interested in mending broken families and giving everyone a fair chance-some excellent advice, not just about political strategy but also on public policy.”—Michael Barone, senior writer, U.S. News & World Report, resident fellow, American Enterprise Institute, and coauthor of The Almanac of American Politics“Grand New Party fills a cavernous void of new thinking on the center-right, and it does so with intelligence, depth, and even some compassion. Ross Douthat and Reihan Salam are brilliant, ceaselessly interesting thinkers. I often disagree with them, but their case is sharp and well-stated, and in its general outlines offers the only path to remake the Republican Party into something decent. They have performed a truly valuable service for Republicans and non-Republicans alike.”—Jonathan Chait, senior editor, The New Republic, and author of The Big Con“Ross Douthat and Reihan Salam offer a wholly original look at American politics. Republicans have failed to become the country's majority party because they have forgotten the working class, and Grand New Party outlines an innovative agenda that could revitalize the GOP—and the country.”—Ramesh Ponnuru, senior editor, National Review
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The authors never mention the deleterious impact of the MSM daily slandering of conservatives. Is this because they desire to be perceived as "hip and with it" and sophisticated? Are truly cool people who attended elite academic institutions like Harvard University supposed to pretend that media bias does not exist? Yes, it may indeed be true that 73 percent of all Americans in 2007 believed "today it's really true that the rich get richer while the poor get poorer"---but this viewpoint is utterly nonsensical! Are Republicans therefore obligated to support inane and damaging economic policies merely because they are popular? Why not instead focus on educating middle-of-the-road voters? In the long run, after all, this is what must be done. There is also the matter of envy that this book conveniently overlooks. The left-wing intelligentsia is deliberately pursuing a policy to make sure less affluent Americans are envious and embittered by "inequality." Peter Schweizer's new book, Makers and Takers: Why conservatives work harder, feel happier, have closer families, take fewer drugs, give more generously, value honesty more, are less materialistic and goes into much detail regarding this morally reprehensible activity. Grand New Party does not deserve five stars. However, you should get acquainted with its main themes. Douthat and Salam must be thanked for helping conservatives to better understand the challenges of our present era. They may not have earned three cheers, but two is still a worthy accomplishment. Go ahead and buy a copy. It will give you a lot to think about.
The authors point out that liberals got so angry with W that they were often reduced to blubbering in hysterical fits of anger. This made any policy discussions useless. As Ann Coulter wrote, we argue, they insult.
But right-wingers are cursed by ideology, too. The conservative contradiction between small business self-reliance and big business greed has never been satisfactorily resolved. The result is that both political stripes posture to their audience, while acting in the most selfish manner to feed off their individual government troughs.
Thus the many equivocal reviews which, if you read between the lines, have both sides complaining that the solutions that Douthat & Salam provide are neither fish nor fowl. What they really mean is that they are not used to prescriptions that deviate so far from party lines. They resent being made to wallow in the filth of the real world.
Yet powerful ideas take on a life of their own, long after catchy insults wither and die. What is so impressive about this work is its great erudition, and the wealth of clear-eyed thinking that lays out the great circle routes of the shortest distance between two points: where we are in our many divisive policies and how to get where we need to be.