The Angry American: How Voter Rage Is Changing the Nation

By Susan J. Tolchin | Go to book overview

Glossary
Alienation, the act of withdrawal from political life--from voting, from participating in community activities, and from involvement in keeping informed through attention to media reports.
Anger-repository theory, the view that although an issue may be quiescent for a certain period of time, the public has stored up anger that is released when the topic reaches the airwaves.
Apathy, an indifference to politics, manifested in nonvoting or in low voting rates at the polls. Analysts were especially concerned after the 1996 presidential election, when barely 50 percent of the eligible voters turned out to vote for the leader of the world's largest democracy.
Bipolarism, or bipolarity, the tendency to move to the extremes on issues and forgo compromise.
Communitarian movement, founded by sociologist Amitai Etzioni in 1991, the communitarian movement seeks to find a common ground on current salient issues by balancing societal values and individual rights.
Civility movement, a reaction to the political anger of the 1990s, the civility movement emphasizes the importance of rational dialogue in political life.
Downsizing, the increasingly common strategy of corporations to fire thousands of employees in order, argue its defenders, to improve efficiency.
Entitlement, a guaranteed government stipend awarded by law to all individuals who qualify in a specific category--such as veterans, for veterans benefits, or senior citizens, who are eligible to received Medicare, which ensures a specific level of health care.
Freedom of Information Act, the law that guarantees public access to all government information not protected by national security or proprietary rights.
General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), a world trade agreement that preceded the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Globalization, the fast-moving trend toward erasing borders and national sovereignty on trade issues involving the manufacture, import, investment, and export of products and services.
Gridlock (congressional), a state of affairs in which Congress comes to a standstill when Democratic and Republican lawmakers prefer to face each other off and do nothing rather than move ahead on issues over which they disagree. The now infamous government shutdowns in the winter of 1995-1996 resulted from gridlock over the budget.

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The Angry American: How Voter Rage Is Changing the Nation
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Dilemmas in American Politics ii
  • BOOKS IN THIS SERIES iii
  • Title Page v
  • Contents ix
  • Tables and Illustrations xi
  • Preface and Acknowledgments xiii
  • 1 - The Dilemma of Voter Rage for Democratic Government 1
  • 2 - The Roots of Antigovernment Anger 23
  • 3 - Economic Uncertainty and Political Anger 51
  • 4 - Zones of Intolerance on the Battlefield of Values 79
  • 5 - Governing Angry Americans 109
  • 6 - Competing Angers and Political Change 143
  • Discussion Questions 163
  • Glossary 165
  • Notes 167
  • References 185
  • Index 191
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