Make Democracy Work Again: A Blueprint for the 2016 Election and Beyond, by Teresa Jenkins. Book Broker Publishers. 362 pages. Trade paperback $15.99.
Playing off the principle slogan of the Trump campaign, with its implicit racial and cultural elitism, Teresa Jenkins has crafted a mighty call for a strong resurgence of true democracy as viewed from the left side of the political pulpit.
The author presents a carefully researched and reasoned argument that is really three arguments in one. The first strives to extoll the virtues of what enemies would call big government. Ms. Jenkins applauds having a government big enough to continue the social benefits that, beginning with FDR, the Democratic liberal-leaning agenda has brought forth. She sees these accomplishments, from Social Security to the Affordable Care Act, as part of a continuum that must keep advancing.
Her second argument is for the absolute necessity of respectful political debate in which the contest is truly one of ideas, not slogans or name-calling or fear-mongering.
The third argument calls for the widest possible enfranchisement of citizen voters. The more that citizens embrace the ballot box and all the other means of engagement that shape government action, the more the American Dream is realized. This outcome requires self-education and open-minded listening.
Twelve tightly organized chapters, each compressing a heap of fact and a measure of passionate, honest opinion, drive home Teresa Jenkins’ concerns. First comes a historical overview of our major political parties, focusing on changes that evolved through the second half of the 20th century and continue today. Pivotal figures are President Nixon, Newt Gingrich, and George Wallace.
The second chapter establishes a pattern of analyzing and criticizing Republican policies and politics. Though she always sets the issues in the context of each party’s stance and rhetoric, Ms. Jenkins’ emphasis on Republican negatives does not allow much room for Democratic positives. I’m not sure how effective this strategy will be in winning over anyone from the enemy camp. . . .
To read the entire review, as it appears in the September 21, 2016 issue of the Fort Myers Florida Weekly and the September 22 Naples, Bonita Springs, Punta Gorda/Port Charlotte, and Palm Beach Gardens / Jupiter editions, click here: Florida Weekly – Jenkins