The stakes 2020 and the survival of American democracy

Robert Kuttner

Book - 2019

"To save both democracy and a decent economy, here's why it's crucial that Americans elect a truly progressive president. The 2020 presidential election will determine the very survival of American democracy. To restore popular faith in government-and win the election-Democrats need to nominate and elect an economic progressive. The Stakes explains how the failure of the economy to serve ordinary Americans opened the door to a demagogic president, and how democracy can still be taken back from Donald Trump. Either the United States continues the long slide into the arms of the bankers and corporate interests and the disaffection of working Americans-the course set in the past half century by Republican and Democratic presiden...ts alike-or we elect a progressive Democrat in the mold of FDR. At stake is nothing less than the continued success of the American experiment in liberal democracy. That success is dependent on a fairer distribution of income, wealth, and life changes -and a reduction in the political influence of financial elites over both parties. The decay of democracy and economic fairness began long before Trump. The American republic is in need of a massive overhaul. It will take not just a resounding Democratic victory in 2020 but a progressive victory to pull back from the brink of autocracy. The Stakes demonstrates how a progressive Democrat has a better chance than a centrist of winning the presidency, and how only this outcome can begin the renewal of the economy and our democracy. A passionate book from one of America's best political analysts, The Stakes is the book to read ahead of the 2020 primaries and general election"--

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New York, NY : W.W. Norton & Company, Inc [2019]
Main Author
Robert Kuttner (author)
First edition
Physical Description
xviii, 282 pages ; 25 cm
Includes bibliographical references (pages 237-259) and index.
  • Progressive economics as democratic renewal
  • Democracy : a damage assessment
  • Averting tyranny
  • Suppression meets mobilization
  • The two faces of corruption
  • Overcoming the racial fault line
  • The view from 2021.
Review by Choice Review

For progressive journalist Robert Kuttner (Brandeis Univ.), the fate of the republic is at stake in 2020: the republic's survival requires that economically progressive Democrats defeat Trump and his GOP enablers. This "frankly partisan" book aims to buttress progressives and pull moderate Democrats leftward for the elections. Less partisan readers might find the book an extended, left-wing version of Michael Anton's infamous essay "The Flight 93 Election," published in Claremont Review of Books (September 2016). An "old Leftist" focused on class conflict, Kuttner attributes Trump's election to Republican villainy and establishment Democrats compromised by moneyed interests. He is nostalgic for FDR, the New Deal, and the post--WW II economy (sans racism and sexism). Sensitive to identity-focused Democrats, Kuttner argues that "pocketbook progressivism" can bridge racial divides, and he provides a laundry list of (astronomically expensive) polices. In essence, he believes that if the right people assume power and implement the agenda, Americans will recognize its greatness, and Democrats will never lose another major election. Unfortunately, power corrupts, mistakes are made, and elections are lost. Trump is a truly horrible executive, but his very existence should make one ponder: what if one's worst political opponents came to the reins of a massively powerful Kuttnernian state? Summing Up: Optional. General readers only. --William M. Curtis, University of Portland

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.