The Life of the Party
Title: The Life of the Party: Democratic Prospects in 1988 and Beyond
Published by: Viking Adult
Release Date: November 1, 1987
On the eve of a watershed election, here is the in-depth re-examination of the progressive Democratic tradition, an incisive look into the state of the party, and a call to arms for those who hope to lead the party into the future.
In order to recover the dominant political role in 1988, Democrats must return to their roots as champions of ordinary citizens and renew their historical commitment to a populist economy and social justice, contends Kuttner, Business Week and Boston Globe columnist, and author of Revolt of the Haves. A positive Democratic resurgence to defeat laissez-faire interest-group liberalism, he argues, requires rebuilding an inclusive base among working and middle classes united by common core values and goals to be achieved through affirmative government. The author discusses campaign financing and reform efforts, the decline in voter participation, partisanship and party machinery, along with the rise of citizen action groups, strategic polling, electoral targeting and other campaign technology. The Democratic party, he suggests, must recapture the New Deal sense of social contract between members of an egalitarian community extending to the workplace and offer public programs to provide security and opportunity. Economic and social goals, he maintains, should be on a par with defense needs and integrated with global economic relations.