Friday, July 25, 2008

Book Review: Declaring Independence, The Beginning of the End of the Two-Party System

Book Review by Jacqueline Salit

Declaring Independence
The Beginning of the End of the Two-Party System
by Douglas E. Schoen
Random House, 240 pp.

Declarations about political independence are a dime a dozen these days, including from some pretty lofty places. Tom Friedman of the New York Times opined that an independent presidential candidate “might be able to drive a bus right up the middle of the U.S. political scene
today – lose the far left and the far right – and still maybe, just maybe, win a three-way election.” Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the Federal Reserve System, observed “a vast untended center from which a well-financed independent presidential candidate is likely
to emerge in 2008 or, if not then, in 2012.”

Douglas Schoen, a top tier political consultant (Bill Clinton, Jon Corzine, Mike Bloomberg), also projected the viability of an independent presidential bid in 2008 in his book Declaring Independence: The Beginning of the End of the Two-Party System. But unlike the pop prognosticators, he understands this is not a top-down phenomenon.

Schoen is decidedly different from those who perceive us independents (40% of the country) as doing nothing but waiting for a billionaire savior. He has serious respect for independent voters and for those trying to shape a viable independent political movement into a force for progressive, post-partisan change. (Continuing reading Salit's review of Declaring Independence)

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