Thursday, March 04, 2004

Here's an antidote to a nasty, divisive campaign: Mark Satin's Radical Middle. We're in for a bruising political battle between Kerry and Bush, with both Democrats and Republicans fighting a polarizing campaign to turn out their base. In the course of that, sensible solutions to the nation's worst problems will often be overlooked because of the ideological blinders of each side. Satin's book shows a way to a more humane, common-sense politics. It's already won praise from James Fallows and others. As the book jacket says:

"Politics today has degenerated into one shouting match after another. If it isn't Democrats against Republicans, then it's the Al Frankens of the world against the Bill O'Reillys. The overheated rhetoric may be entertaining. But in the process, real opportunities - to achieve everything from universal, preventive health care to deep corporate reform to energy independence - are slipping away.

"Does politics have to be this way? No. According to this smart and unabashedly positive book, millions of caring people are coming up with inclusive new solutions to our problems (and collaborative new ways of working on them) that amount to a whole new politics - radical middle politics.

"Instead of playing the usual blame games, the radical middle appreciates the genuine and often very reasonable concerns of the left and right - and builds on them toward something new. Instead of being some mushy middle, the radical middle is both visionary and realistic. It dares to propose path-breaking solutions to everything from underperforming schools to looming terrorism without ever losing touch with the often complex facts on the ground.

"Radical Middle will show you what you can do to make our politics less like schoolyard combat and more like an expression of the practical and creative people that we are."

Amazon.com: Books: Radical Middle: The Politics We Need Now

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