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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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Conclusion: The Impact of Fateful Trends

Conclusion: The Impact of Fateful Trends

(p.265) Conclusion: The Impact of Fateful Trends
Uniting America
Yale University Press

To make a centrist agenda in American politics possible, the country's political leaders need to soften their partisan stance and cooperate to come up with a more pragmatic middle course. At present neither the Republican nor the Democratic Party can lay undisputed claim to the vital center. However, there are important trends at work that offer hope: the aging of the population and foreign affairs. The Baby Boom's retirement represents a seismic demographic shift that necessitates an adjustment from the public, rather than vice versa. Neither Democrats nor Republicans currently have a formula capable of coping with a change of this magnitude. In addition, the two parties are sharply divided in the area of foreign policy. While Republicans put a greater emphasis on the use of force, Democrats emphasize diplomacy. But in order for foreign policy to be effective, a right balance between the two is required. Moreover, the United States must closely cooperate with other nations if it wants to eliminate the global threat of terrorism and nuclear weapons proliferation while fostering global economic development.

Keywords:   politics, aging, foreign affairs, Baby Boom, retirement, Democrats, Republicans, foreign policy, diplomacy, United States

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