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10 thoughts on “Hopelessly Divided

  1. says:

    While the information in this book is still sound, much of it is probably not as shocking today as it might have been for 2012 audiences, when the book was first published Indeed, most of it is common knowledge nowadays What Schoen is referring to when he refers to the political class although he never comes out and actually says it is the American oligarchy, the not so shadow government of incredibly wealthy and powerful people who actually run this country And, believe it or not, Trump is not part of this group, as much as he would like to think he is He is just a puppet I think we all have an idea who is part of this oligarchy, and I m fairly certain that, in years to come, we will hopefully learn who these people are for sure Unfortunately, these oligarchs are secretly controlling the government by fomenting partisan divisions not too hard a thing to do , class warfare from the top down , and keeping their lackeys i.e Congress well fed and satiated with campaign contributions. And, since I can t say it any better than this Let me warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party in governments of the popular form, it is in seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge natural to party dissension is itself a frightful despotism the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of wise people to discourage and restrain it It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration It agitates the community with ill founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another George Washington, in his Farewell Address, 1796 Finally our political system has become paralyzed by partisanship to a degree that has many citizens, and investors, depressed and wondering whether we are capable any of collective action Thomas Friedman, New York Times, Sept 10, 2011 I ve been inundated with messages from people I ve never met They are all sharing their stories that have one common theme We don t feel represented, and we don t recognize the country Howard Schultz, CEO, Starbucks And in fact Republican and Democratic office holders and their retinues show a similar presumption to dominate and fewer differences in tastes, habits, opinions, and sources of income among one another than between both and the rest of the country They think, look and act as a class Angela Codevilla So, apparently my animosities have been misplaced, according to Douglas Schoen As someone who affiliates myself with the Democratic party, I have been harboring an antagonism towards the Republicans for so long, that I have apparently been blinded by the inadequacies and problems of the party I call my own The political divide between the parties is there, to be sure, but it s not the real problem The so called class warfare between the ultra rich and the lower and middle classes isn t even the real problem It s all a clever smokescreen perpetrated perhaps inadvertently, perhaps not entirely by both parties to distract voters attentions from the real issues The divisiveness that I, and the average American, perceives as being between the two parties or between the rich and the poor is, in actuality, a divisiveness between the political class , as Schoen calls it, and everyone else in America, rich and poor, conservative and liberal Schoen defines the political class as our elected officials and business leaders, of both parties, who are no longer accountable to the people whom they consider their constituents namely, us Unchecked and de regulated campaign finance, blatant redistricting and gerrymandering, out of control special interest lobbying these are some of the forces that have helped to weaken some might say completely destroy what remains of our democracy in this country As Schoen elegantly puts it The federal branch of our two party democracy has become a system that by its very nature cannot find solutions to major issues, from record deficits to a debt crisis to massive unemployment Neither problem has a serious jobs agenda, even after three years of debilitating unemployment rates These problems and others are simply not adjudicated they are hidden beneath blizzards of partisan warfare or obscured by temporary fixes or half measures that fool no one The struggles of millions of Americans with stagnant incomes, lost jobs, soaring education costs, and continuous rounds of housing foreclosures count for little beside the machinations of a political class that puts its interests ahead of ordinary people p 26 Schoen s latest book Hopelessly Divided The New Crisis in American Politics and What it Means for 2012 and Beyond is a must read for anyone sincerely interested in regaining a voice for the masses Schoen, a Democratic pundit and consultant, has written the book literally on the root causes of the near death of the American Dream and the political nightmare that has resulted An objective analyst and critic of both parties, Schoen clearly makes the case that our solutions will NOT come from Washington, D.C or Wall Street, but, rather, our solutions will and must come from the grass roots up swelling of informed, involved citizens In his book, he carefully and descriptively looks at the history of how the political class came to be so powerful, how both parties have embraced left and right wing populist agendas that they are unwilling to compromise, how independent voters play a significant role in changing elections, how money has corrupted everyone involved in the political process and continues to do so due to an everyone is doing it mentality, and how lobbyists have pretty much destroyed any chances of average Americans having their voices heard.Schoen conducted separate polls, one a national survey of 1,000 American voters in a random sampling, which Schoen refers to as the mainstream and another survey of 200 ultra rich Americans Schoen defines ultra rich as those with total personal investible assets over 1 million This data was compared with data of members of the political class The results were interesting, to say the least Here are a few When asked How fair is America , 75% of the political class agreed that it is generally fair, as opposed to 67% of the mainstream and 56% of the ultra rich who disagreed, saying that discrimination against certain groups happened regularly When asked Are America s best days in the past or the future , 71% of the political class said that the best days are to come, while 51% of the ultra rich and 65% of the mainstream agreed that America s best days are behind us When asked How responsive are our leaders to the serious issues facing us today , 86% of the political class said that our leaders are responsive, while 76% of the mainstream and 66% of the ultra rich agreed that our leaders are NOT responsive When asked Does the federal government today have the consent of the governed the mainstream and the ultra rich agreed, 58% and 63%, respectively, that the government does NOT have the consent of the governed Interestingly, the political class was split fairly evenly on this question.You can see where this is going, and you probably inherently knew this to be true Granted, this was a small sampling done by the author, but its results make sense, intuitively, and they do point out the interesting fact that average Americans read lower to middle class and the ultra rich don t think that differently F Scott Fitzgerald once wrote that The rich are different , to which Hemingway allegedly responded, Yes They have money Joking aside, when the rich and the poor see eye to eye on many of the political issues facing us today, while those in power see pretty much the opposite, something is very wrong with this picture.Has it always been this way, and we ve just been oblivious to it Schoen seems to think not, that it has been just within the past 10 15 years that some of the problems that have always plagued Washington have swelled and combined to form perfect storms Prior to the second Bush Administration, the consensus in Washington was fairly moderate Even Reagan s politics, compared to the Republicans of today, could be viewed as pretty moderate Both parties, unfortunately, have split so extremely far left and right of center, that our government seems to be in a permanent state of gridlock One of the main reasons for this is the resurgence of new left and right wing populist movements, which both parties have tried to embrace and appease through uncompromising positions that allow for little to nothing to get done In the bulk of Schoen s book, he goes into splendid detail of the histories of the left and right populism movements, how they came about, what the main components for which they stand are, and how their extremism has been counter productive and may result in the very things that they are fighting against.Finally, Schoen writes about how a landmark Supreme Court case, Citizens United v Federal Election Commission, which basically ruled that corporations and unions could give unlimited money to support or criticize specific candidates, has essentially made money the true leader in Washington Add to that Leadership PACs, Super PACs, and Mega Donors like the Koch Bros and George Soros, and, as Schoen writes, the idea that we have a representational democracy, where candidates raise their own money based on levels of overall popular support, is simply gone p 201 In a final conclusion chapter, simply titled Reform or Fail , Schoen suggests that people start getting active and involved in imploring our elected officials to overhaul the system Schoen delicately handles this heavy subject, throughout the book, without doling out blame to individuals or groups of people Virtually everyone is to blame We have all let this get out of hand On the same token, though, we all have it in us to turn it around.


  2. says:

    I saw this book on the shelf in the library at work and had to pick it up First, because it s by Doug Schoen, who I ve seen many times commenting on politics on TV, so I know him to be knowledgeable and insightful, and second because of the title I just wrote a book Hillary Clinton s Village Why Big Government is Broken and How to Fix It , where political divisions was one of the major themes I explored I wish I had read Schoen s book while researching my own I would have referenced it several times to bolster my own arguments There s a lot to like here if you consider yourself a political junkie He is a pollster, but does not just beat you over the head with a barrage of dry numbers He provides the conclusions that he draws from the poll results an combines seemingly unrelated results in interesting ways It was written just prior to the 2012 election, but it still holds up very well very little of the material can be considered dated That s probably because the problems that Doug Schoen pointed out in 2012 are still with us today and they are still an existential threat to our democracy Chapter 12 was my favorite by far talking about the negative impact of Congressional redistricting Of particular interest, if you are fan of Frederic Bastiat and the law of unintended consequences as I am, was the analysis of the Voting Rights Act and how it actually disenfranchises black voters all voters really.This book, written to inform voters for the 2012 election, is still worth reading if you want to be informed for the 2016 election.


  3. says:

    A must read to understand how dysfunctional our political system really is..


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Hopelessly Divided summary pdf Hopelessly Divided , summary chapter 2 Hopelessly Divided , sparknotes Hopelessly Divided , Hopelessly Divided 7d739db Just In Time For The Election, Douglas E Schoen, One Of America S Preeminent Political Pundits, Analyzes The Growing Chasm Between The Political Class Politicians, Lobbyists, Fundraisers, Consultants And The American Mainstream, Frustrated With Government S Inability To Address The Major Issues Affecting Their Lives This Gap Has Given Rise To Populist Movements On The Right And The Left And Driven Our Two Party System To The Brink Of Possible Collapse In Ways That Have Never Been Fully Discussed Or Articulated

  • Hardcover
  • 296 pages
  • Hopelessly Divided
  • Douglas E. Schoen
  • English
  • 02 March 2018
  • 9781442215238

About the Author: Douglas E. Schoen

Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Hopelessly Divided book, this is one of the most wanted Douglas E. Schoen author readers around the world.