Sunday, February 27, 2005

An interview with Thomas Frank, author of What's The Matter With Kansas? and some other books people aren't talking about as much.
The Republicans are incredibly vulnerable in many ways. Both in terms of culture and their brand positioning, and in terms of the contradictions between what they say and what they do. Between this world of all-American, regular people that they imagine and the world that they give us, like you just said, where people have to work two jobs to stay afloat, [is a wide gap]. Hammer that contradiction.

Unrestrained free-market capitalism is not the friend of average Americans. It’s not the friend of tradition and of small town values. It’s quite the opposite. It’s the great destroyer. But where are you going to find somebody in American politics to make an argument like that?

While the Republicans may be vulnerable, after reading What's The Matter with Kansas I'm not sure I'd take Frank's advice on what to do about it. Sentiments of his-- such as that the free market is the enemy of most average Americans-- are right in step with union-organizing liberalism of the 1930s; or Ralph Naders campaign platform for that matter. His book makes clear how unfathomable he finds it that large numbers of the electorate happily and excitedly vote Republican. Good reason not to turn to him for advice on how to win those folks back.
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