Upom's Reviews > It's Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the Politics of Extremism

It's Even Worse Than It Looks by Thomas E. Mann
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's review
Jun 04, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: america, 2010-s, government, politics, nonfiction, debt, reform, innovation, policy
Read in June, 2012

American politics as frustrating as it is historically, seems to have taken a whole new level of polarization in the 21st century. Everyone has their own favorite theory on what is wrong and how to fix it, and "It's Even Worse than it Looks," continues this recent tradition.However unlike many similar, this book by Mann and Ornstein offers a theory that seems grounded in reality well-researched, and well-reasoned. In short, the authors argue that the nature of politics in America have changed in such a way to promote polarization, leading to British style parliamentary parties in the United States. Mann and Ornstein also interestingly put more of the blame on the Republican Party for polarization, moving the party away from any fact-based consideration of reality. To ameliorate these problems, the authors criticize popular suggestions for fixing government such as third parties, balanced budget amendments, public financing of elections, and term limits. They then go on to suggest their own solutions, including controversial ideas such as mandatory voting and restoring majority rule in the Senate. I am not sure if the book offers all the fixes we need, but it is full of well-written prose that will make you think about what political innovations will make America a better place in the coming decades.
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