Review: Democracy More or Less – America’s Political Reform Quandry

4 Star, America (Founders, Current Situation), Congress (Failure, Reform), Electoral Reform USA, Executive (Partisan Failure, Reform)
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

Bruce Cain

4.0 out of 5 stars Academic Smoke — Disdain for the Public & Denial Over Two-Party Tyranny, May 24, 2015

I spent some time reviewing the author's history (he's been writing about electoral matters since the 1970's) and what Amazon offers through its superb Inside the Book feature, as I am unemployed and between the book price and what Amazon charges for delivery today this would have been a $40 commitment. My call: not worth it for the electoral reform activist, but useful as the nay-sayer summary for graduate level courses in politics.

The book suffers three strikes:

01 The author does not cite Theresa Amato's seminal work published in 2009, Grand Illusion: The Myth of Voter Choice in a Two-Party Tyranny. Since I had to run for President in 2012 to learn that we have eight accredited parties, six of which are blocked from ballot access by the two-party tyranny, this is my first clue that the author is running on old reading and not at all in touch with the latest critical commentary. He also does not cite John Barry's seminal book published in 1989 The Ambition and the Power: The Fall of Jim Wright: A True Story of Washington — this is the book about Newt Gingrich turning the Members into foot-soldiers for the party, such that each party now sells Member votes as a bloc.

02 The author does not cite Matt Taibbi's 2011 book Griftopia: A Story of Bankers, Politicians, and the Most Audacious Power Grab in American History — in combination with the absence of other books focused on the criminal nature of the two-party tyranny and an examination of all that Amazon offers online, I have to conclude that the author is in denial about the criminal nature of our government today, and an apologist for the system entire.

03 The author's disdain for the public is palpable and reprehensible. While I share with the author a sadness over the depth of the apathy of the 40% of the public that has fallen prey to the ignorant extremists of the two-party tyranny, I would point the author to another book he has not read, Paul Ray and Sherri Ruth Anderson's The Cultural Creatives: How 50 Million People Are Changing the World; he might do well to also read Howard Zinn again (e.g. A Power Governments Cannot Suppress and Vaclav Havel's The Power of the Powerless: Citizens Against the State in Central-Eastern Europe. He's 40% right and completely clueless on the other 60%.

This book strikes me as a superb example of tired academic writing divorced from the public interest and all too willing to overlook the criminal insanity of our government today. This book posits a “blended” solution intended to allow “the system” to carry on for just a bit longer. Our government today is unconstitutional, in violation of most international conventions and treaties, preying on its own public and enabling predatory capitalism against all of us while carrying out elective wars based on lies — and in the face of all this, the author appears, in one word, complacent. Not good enough.

Best wishes to all,
Robert David STEELE Vivas
Open Power: Electoral Reform Act of 2015 – Open Source Activist Tool-Kit

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