Cory Booker Schools America

By Dickey, Christopher | Newsweek, September 19, 2011 | Go to article overview

Cory Booker Schools America


Dickey, Christopher, Newsweek


Byline: Christopher Dickey

Newark's Mayor is a realist who talks like an idealist. His take on the state of disunion.

HIJACKING DEMOCRACY

I thought [Obama's jobs speech] was great, I thought he was right on on the important points. But the question is: Was he screaming into the wind? And will anything come of it? In my generation person after person is just surrendering to cynicism about our government. People that are passionate about this country, who are believers in its ideals, somehow feel that their government has become broken, and infected. We're far more focused on politics than we are on the things that we all know, Republican and Democrat, need to be done.

Somehow we've lost our ability to organize around ideas and we are only organizing around parties here. And that's very problematic. If people say, first and foremost, "I'm a Democrat," that is such the wrong way to orient yourself to the world. I would rather say, "I'm in favor of." Parties in my opinion have hijacked our democracy.

There is just too much of a damned crisis right now for partisanship. This isn't World War II, but just imagine for a second during World War II if you had the kind of hyper-partisanship where our leaders couldn't get things done. The threat to this country right now may not be a Hitler-like attack. But frankly, what I see on a daily basis--the level of poverty, the level of ignorance being bred in institutions that are failing our children, the level of pain--I really see this as my generation's greatest crisis. …

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