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Uniting AmericaRestoring the Vital Center to American Democracy$
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Norton Garfinkle and Daniel Yankelovich

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780300108569

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300108569.001.0001

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Introduction

Introduction

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
Uniting America
Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300108569.003.0001

The period after 9/11 has been characterized by the disappearance of the center from American politics as Republicans and Democrats remain divided on crucial policy issues. The polarization in Congress is mirrored in the increasingly fragmented and politicized media and exacerbated by the rise of “advocacy” think tanks and well-funded activist groups on both the right and the left. Yet amid all the chatter about partisanship, there is evidence that Americans have a strong desire for political compromise. This book offers centrist solutions, rooted in core American democratic values, for the restoration of the vital center to democracy. It describes a “new social morality” that would enable policymakers to come up with practical solutions that unite rather than divide the country. It also outlines a practical bipartisan compromise to save the Social Security system and proposes an innovative scheme for fixing Medicare; explores the impact of religion, diversity, and immigration on the Americans' sense of national unity; and analyzes the impact of the country's approach to the war on terrorism both abroad and at home.

Keywords:   politics, polarization, Congress, partisanship, democracy, social morality, Social Security, Medicare, national unity, war on terrorism

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