Author: John F. Kimberling
Publish Date: September 9, 2004
Source: I received a copy from the publisher; however, this did not affect my review.
Why You're Reading This Book:
- You're a politics fan.
From Goodreads.com: "NOT A FIVE CENT CIGAR An obscure U.S. vice-president once said "What this country needs is a good five cent cigar." But in this frank, outspoken book, author John Kimberling argues that what this country really needs is a new political party. Both the Republican and Democratic parties have failed the American people. Uncontrolled campaign contributions put millions of dollars in the pockets of politicians in both parties and make them the servants of the rich and powerful, who own the government and make it operate for their benefit, not for the people. It is the reason for our foreign policy which has earned us the hatred and fear of the rest of the world and brought terrorism to our shores. It is the reason we have a failing health care system not available to millions of our citizens. It is the reason our prisons are overflowing, but not with the real criminals. Income tax laws favor giant corporations and place the burden of paying taxes on working people and the small businessman. The "war on drugs" has only made the problem worse. Perhaps most shocking, the author explores the agenda of key Bush administration officials who planned the invasion of Iraq years before 9/11 and then used terrorism as an excuse for our invasion and occupation of that country, which has destabilized the entire Middle East. What This Country Needs refuses to accept that powerful political and financial forces can take our country away from us. It lays out a blueprint for a new third party to give the voters the tools they need to reshape the political process and point the way in a new direction and to a better future for all of us."
My Two Cents:
Tis the season for all things political, including books. In "What This Country Needs," John Kimberling sets up an idea for a new political party. I think this book has a lot of important points that it would do society well to discuss further. I did not agree with everything but there really were a lot of good ideas in this book. Some of them are more viable than others. I will try to focus on the mechanics of the book for the most part in this review but some politicism will probably sneak through. Living in the DC area and being around politics all the time, it is hard for me not to get a little bit excited about politics!
The book is sectioned off by some overarching themes to include foreign policy, social programs, and law issues. Overall the layout was fairly clear cut. There were several sections that crossed over and so sometimes Kimberling's arguments seemed sort of circular and repetitive. I think the book would have been a little bit better if it had more streamlined and linear.
This book will really appeal to people who have a interest in the in's and out's of politics. It will also be of interest to those who feel like they do not have a really good choice when it comes to choosing a political candidate
A personal note: While I personally feel that it would be refreshing to have more than two viable major parties in this country, there are a couple things preventing us from doing this. First, a major hurdle in the electoral college. I fully believe that until the electoral college is no more, we will not see a viable third party candidate. Currently, third party candidates have a much easier time getting elected to other positions but not the presidency and I think it's due to the electoral college. I found myself wishing that Kimberling would address a little bit more about how to get a 3rd party elected.
Bottom line: For the aspiring politicos!