Wednesday, August 20, 2008

When will we ever learn?

Regardless of your political affiliation, at some point your candidate has lost an election and you have said to yourself "How could people not vote for my wonderful candidate?" Well, those questions are addressed in our new book Just How Stupid Are We? facing the truth about the American voter by Rick Shenkman. Reporter, commentator and associate professor of history at George Mason University, Shenkman examines the ways in which apathy, media saturation, lack of responsibility and shortened attention spans have altered national politics. Far from blaming the politicians and spin doctors, the author argues that a good deal of the blame for shallow, nasty politics rests on our shoulders: the American public that punishes thoughtful politicians with indifference and rewards cutthroat tactics with votes. In a way, his arguments hearken all the way back to the founding of the country and the debate over just how much power to give to the common man ('Salt of the Earth' if you're Thomas Jefferson, 'Ignorant Rabble' if you're Alexander Hamilton). It's refreshing to see someone attack a problem at it's root, but I have a feeling that the people who are most in need of a political dope slap won't care enough to read this book. For committed political junkies, however, there will be much head nodding and fervent agreement.

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