Elm Street Politics

Elm Street Politics

Elm Street Politics

Elm Street Politics

Excerpt

The purpose of this book is to encourage more people to take a larger part in politics. It shows a way for the rank and file citizen, who belongs to or leans toward one political party, to have his say in that party's affairs and in his government.

The trouble with politics is that it's too much a spectator's sport. To make matters worse, the rival parties often make it hard for the spectators to get on to the political playing fields. These barriers must go down to let more citizens have a part in the political party of their choice. Self-government is impossible in America without parties and the policies and action of the parties must be representative of an active membership. Self-government in our Republic thrives to the degree to which its citizens participate in one party or the other--and this means helping to nominate candidates and make party decisions in addition to helping in campaigns and voting in the elections.

A one-party system is as repugnant to Americans as it is acceptable to the average Soviet citizen who does not expect to help select candidates or to be consulted on matters of policy. One of the strongest political battle cries of our times is, "One party domination of government is bad. The two- party system is good for everybody." This issue works effectively for or against both parties, depending upon which one is in power in a community or the nation. The force of the issue shows the temper of the modern switch-voter, who lately has become the decisive factor in general elections--and can also wield the balance of power in primaries when aroused.

An equally strong protest is gathering force in both parties against domination of internal party affairs by a small clique or a few party leaders or "bosses". Nothing, short of one- party domination by the opposite party, is so distasteful to the modern type of party member-worker and to the decisive switch-voter, as the spectacle of party bosses emerging from secret sessions to announce the "party's choices" who are then to be rubber stamped through a convention or a controlled . . .

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