The Radical Center: The Future of American Politics
- Publish Date: 2001-10-02
- Binding: Hardcover
- Author: Michael Halstead;Michael Lind
The Radical Center represents new thinking, combining lessons learned from the past with an optimistic view of the future. This book deserves to be read by thoughtful Americans of all generations. -- John C. Whitehead, former Chairman, Goldman Sachs
The curse of modern politics is what the technology world calls legacy code_inherited taboos, biases, and blinders that prevent most public figures from expressing, or even thinking, original thoughts. The Radical Center shows us how we could deal with a number of intractable public issues, if we were willing actually to think about them rather than just operating by reflex and rote. -- James Fallows, Chairman, New America Foundation
The hair-breadth closeness of the 2000 elections and the growing number of voters who identify themselves as independents make it clear that most Americans no longer think in terms of the conventional agendas of Left and Right. In The Radical Center, Ted Halstead and Michael Lind boldly announce the death of sixties liberalism and eighties conservatism and the birth of the new philosophy of Radical Centrism. Taking on experts and partisans on both sides of the political divide and explaining why current ideologies and frameworks are ill-suited to the Information Age, they offer a groundbreaking blueprint for updating and remodeling all sectors of American society.
The Radical Center presents irrefutable evidence that many institutions that promoted progress in the twentieth century now retard progress in the twenty-first. Our archaic electoral system fuels increasing disenchantment with politics; our social contract provides neither the flexibility nor the security that American workers require in the new economy; and our schools and communities fail to impart the skills and values that our citizens need. Arguing that the Information Age has produced a more sophisticated citizenry capable of handling greater choices and responsibilities, Halstead and Lind propose far-reaching, pragmatic reforms for the way we organize elections, provide health and retirement security, collect taxes, structure employment, enforce civil rights, and educate our children.
Twice before America has dramatically reconfigured itselfIt shifted from an agrarian to an industrial society after the Civil War and then successfully adapted to the massive technological and demographic changes of the early twentieth century during the New Deal era. Uniting a sweeping historical vision with bold policy proposals, The Radical Center shows us how to reinvent our nation once again so that all Americans, rich and poor, can reap the benefits of the Information Age.