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Values Matter Most: How Republicans, or Democrats, or a Third Party Can Win and Renew the American Way of Life
In 1992, most pundits accepted the famous line of the Clinton campaign that the election was about "the economy, stupid." But in 1994, with the economy flourishing, voters dumped the Democrats. What happened? Why? What is likely to happen next? Ben Wattenberg answers with Values Matter Most, a book that is, at once, a fascinating and lively inside...
In 1992, most pundits accepted the famous line of the Clinton campaign that the election was about "the economy, stupid." But in 1994, with the economy flourishing, voters dumped the Democrats. What happened? Why? What is likely to happen next? Ben Wattenberg answers with Values Matter Most, a book that is, at once, a fascinating and lively inside political story, a nuanced portrait of America in the mid-nineties, and a stark political thesis. In the controversial 1970 bestseller The Real Majority, Wattenberg and Richard Scammon argued that "the social issue" - now often called "values" - including crime, welfare, race, discipline, drugs, promiscuity and prayer - had suddenly become coequal with economics as the key to voter behavior. They warned Democrats to pay attention, or they would lose. They didn't, and they did. Now, after 25 years of social deterioration in America, Wattenberg dramatically advances the argument. He says that the concern about values has become the number one issue, and properly so. Wattenberg vividly narrates the history of the values issue in American politics. He says that whichever party and candidates now best understand the social concerns of a restless electorate, and act upon these issues, will be rewarded in national, state, and local elections in 1996 and beyond. He caps his analysis with strategy lessons for Republicans, Democrats, and potential third (or even fourth or fifth) party candidates.
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