||From Robert B. Reich, passionate believer in American democracy, and public servant in both Democratic and Republican administrations–an urgent call to liberals to reclaim their political clout. Reason is a guide to confronting and derailing what he sees as the mounting threat to American liberty, prosperity, and security posed by the radical conservatives–Radcons, as he calls them–whose agenda has dominated public discourse and radically affected government action since the election, by a minority vote, of George W. Bush.It is an agenda that turns American tradition upside down–embracing “preemptive” war, disrupting essential alliances, reacting to terrorism by weakening our civil liberties, distorting our economy by endowing the rich with tax breaks while cutting social services, attempting to hunt down immorality in bedrooms rather than in boardrooms, where corporate malfeasance is still not legally prevented from chomping away at ordinary American earnings.Reich offers a bold plan for defeating this politics of fear and favor–whose defining gesture is to equate dissent with treason–and for reinstating the traditional American politics of reason.He calls on liberals to close ranks and maintain a permanent platform that can grow in power.He provides clear answers to the barrage of accusations (of communism, of elitism, of anti-Americanism) with which Radcons have been pummeling liberals for at least two decades. He analyzes the propaganda savvy, the commitment, and the organization of the Radcons, and what liberals can learn from each.He suggests how liberals can wrest the sole ownership of patriotism from the Radcons–there’s more to it than flag waving.He calls on liberals to recognize their strengths. He wants them to remember their unfaltering protection of the central American invention: a society (ours was the first in history) that allows no aristocracy and hence belongs to all its citizens. And he wants liberals to recall how, twice in the last century, liberalism’s dedicated reforms rescued American free enterprise from its own excesses: first from the robber barons in the early 1900s, then in the depression-devastated 1930s.He demonstrates, with quotations from the most respected opinion polls, how far the radical conservative agenda is from representing the national will. And he tells why he believes that once again–assuming the readiness to take action–American liberals are on the verge of winning the battle for America.From the Hardcover edition.
||In a thoughtful, well-argued restatement of why, in his view, liberalism is good for America, Robert Reich, who served as Clinton's Secretary of the Treasury, explains how basic liberal assumptions are in tune with core values in America, including fairness, and plurality of viewpoints. He contrasts this with what he sees from the radical conservatives: mean-spiritedness, a refusal to listen to others, preferences for the wealthy, and less for the disadvantaged--and, worse, a bellicose foreign policy. Reich exhorts liberals to work harder on getting their message across, and to reclaim what has been lost to the well-organized, and well-funded, Right.