The Parties Versus the People

The Parties Versus the People

How to Turn Republicans and Democrats Into Americans

By Mickey Edwards

Yale University Press, Hardcover, 9780300184563, 232pp.

Publication Date: August 2012


America's political system is dysfunctional. While this is a widely held view, it is a problem that--so far--has proved intractable. After every election, voters discover yet again that political "leaders" are simply quarreling in a never-ending battle between the two warring tribes, the Republicans and Democrats. In this critically important book, a distinguished statesman and thinker identifies exactly how our political and governing systems reward intransigence, discourage compromise, and undermine our democracy. He then describes exactly what must be done to banish the negative effects of partisan warfare from our political system.

As a former congressman, Mickey Edwards witnessed firsthand how important legislative battles can devolve into struggles not over principle but over party advantage. He offers graphic examples of how this problem has intensified and reveals how political battles have become nothing more than conflicts between party machines. Edwards's solutions--specific, practical, fair, and original--show the way to break the stranglehold of the political party system. "The Parties Versus the People" offers hope for a fundamental renewal of American democracy.

About the Author
Mickey Edwards is on the faculty at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and is a Vice President of the Aspen Institute. After leaving Congress, he taught at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government for 11 years and was selected by students as the outstanding teacher
in the school. He was a weekly columnist for the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and other major newspapers.