Download Uneasy Alliances: Race and Party Competition in America by Paul Frymer PDF

By Paul Frymer

Paul Frymer argues provocatively that two-party pageant within the usa results in the marginalization of African american citizens and the subversion of democracy. students have lengthy claimed that the necessity to win elections makes applicants, events, and govt conscious of any and all electorate. Frymer indicates, in spite of the fact that, that occasion pageant is based round racially conservative white electorate, and that this concentrate on white electorate has dire effects for African american citizens. As either events try and allure white swing citizens by way of distancing themselves from blacks, black electorate are usually overlooked and left with unappealing choices. African americans are therefore the best instance of a "captured minority." Frymer argues that our two-party method bears a lot of the blame for this scenario. frequently neglected in present discussions of racial politics, the celebration method represents a real kind of institutional racism. Frymer exhibits that this can be no coincidence, for the celebration method was once arrange partly to maintain African American issues off the political schedule. at the present time, the occasion approach maintains to limit the political possibilities of African American citizens, as was once proven such a lot lately while invoice Clinton took pains to distance himself from African americans on the way to seize conservative votes and win the presidency. Frymer compares the location of black electorate with different social groups--gays and lesbians and the Christian correct, for example--who have lately chanced on themselves equally "captured." conscientiously argued and researched, Uneasy Alliances is a robust problem to how we predict in regards to the courting among black citizens, political events, and American democracy.

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19 See Hofstadter, Idea of a Party System. 20 See Downs, Economic Theory of Democracy; and Gary Cox, who points out that if the two major parties stay too close to the center in a bipolar electorate, new parties will 36 CHAPTER 2 writes, “Whichever party wins will attempt to implement policies radically opposed to the other party’s ideology. . ”21 The controversy surrounding the Missouri Compromise would not appear again until the Gag Rule Controversy of the mid-1830s, and later in the battle over the annexation of Texas and the Wilmot Proviso of the mid-1840s.

Pinderhughes, Race and Ethnicity in Chicago Politics: A Reexamination of Pluralist Theory (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1987); Manning Marable, Black American Politics: From the Washington Marches to Jesse Jackson (New York: Verso, 1985), chap. 4; and Charles H. : Lexington Books, 1974). 24 CHAPTER 1 because it would entail a discussion of different electoral structures, different constituencies, and, hence, party leaders responding to a different set of electoral incentives. Clearly, if the majority of a constituency is African American, the median voter will not be opposed to African American interests.

I then examine the initial development of the two-party system and find that many of the expected conditions—in particular, a bell-curve-shaped ideological distribution of voters—were notably absent at this time. Party leaders in the 1830s did compete around a normal left-right ideological distribution, but they 5 See John Ashworth, Slavery, Capitalism, and Politics in the Antebellum Republic, Vol. 1, Commerce and Compromise, 1820–1850 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1995); Richard Hofstadter, The Idea of a Party System: The Rise of Legitimate Opposition in the United States, 1780–1840 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1969); Richard P.

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