The Politics of Disappointment: American Elections, 1976-94

By Wilson Carey McWilliams | Go to book overview

strengthen, and in some cases to create, "society." But government that enters our lives so pervasively can easily be despotic without new kinds of restraint. Limited government in 1976 depends less on self-regulated mechanisms and more on citizen- regulated politics. Political parties have done more than express the needs and feelings of citizens. They have educated them in the norms and values of democratic politics. With some justice, George Washington Plunkitt asserted that "the parties built this great country."20 And the ideal of civic education through revitalized parties is certainly attractive, only eight years from 1984.


Notes
1.
V. O. Key Jr., "The Future of the Democratic Party," Virginia Quarterly 28 ( 1952): 161.
2.
Kevin Phillips, The Emerging Republican Majority ( New York: Arlington, 1969).
3.
Key, "Future of the Democratic Party,"173; see also Key Public Opinion and American Democracy ( New York: Knopf, 1961).
4.
For example, see J. A. C. Grant, "The Gild Returns to America," Journal of Politics 4 ( 1942): 303-36, 458-77; John Kenneth Galbraith, American Capitalism: The Concept of Countervailing Power ( Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1952); Grant McConnell, Private Power and American Democracy ( New York: Knopf, 1966); and Theodore Lowi, The End of Liberalism ( New York: Norton, 1969).
5.
Samuel Lubell, The Future of American Politics ( New York: Harper, 1952); see also Lubell The Revolt of the Moderates ( New York: Harper, 1956); and The Hidden Crisis in American Politics ( New York: Norton, 1970).
6.
Richard Centers, "Children of the New Deal: Social Stratification and Adolescent Attitudes," International Journal of Opinion and Attitude Research 4 ( 1950): 315-35.
7.
Herbert McClosky et al., "Issue Conflict and Consensus among Party Leaders and Followers," American Political Science Review 54 ( 1960): 406-27, describes the continuing Republican problem.
8.
For the concept of the "social issue," see Richard Scammon and Ben Wattenberg, The Real Majority ( New York: Coward McCann, 1970).

-34-

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The Politics of Disappointment: American Elections, 1976-94
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • Notes 12
  • 2 - South Wind, Warning: The Election of 1976 15
  • Notes 34
  • 3 - Presidential Leadership and Changing Parties: The Election of 1980 37
  • Notes 60
  • 4 - Old Virtues, New Magic: The Election of 1984 63
  • Notes 97
  • 5 - Enchantment's Ending: The Election of 1988 101
  • Notes 136
  • 6 - Thinking About Tomorrow Worriedly: The Election of 1992 143
  • Notes 173
  • 7 - Slouching Toward the Millennium: The Election of 1994 183
  • Notes 200
  • Index 203
  • About the Author 211
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