LESSONS OF VICTORY by The Ripon Society


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In 1965, a Cambridge-based research and policy group composed of young Republican liberals circulated a volume (Election '64) which won wide reading among political analysts for its unsparing critique of the Goldwater debacle. The present work, by the same organization, aims to repeat the job for the '68 campaign. Its thesis, propounded through a meticulous study of the returns of the national and state contests, is that, in 1968, the GOP missed its chance to crack the Democratic coalition, and to make itself the majority party. According to the Ripon theorists, labor, youth, and to some degree, Negroes, were alienated and up for grabs in November. Taxing the party for an unadventurous campaign which appealed to none of these groups, the Society urges it to create a basis for a new coalition through relevant action on urban, peace, youth, and consumer issues. They underline opposition weaknesses which may facilitate the task, noting that Democratic reformers are likely to be handcuffed by the continuance of old-line leadership and personality-cult politics in their party. Though their writing is gray, their tone almost too dispassionate, and their picture of Republican prospects possibly overstated, the Ripon researchers have some interesting things to say about the future of the parties and of the country. Old-fashioned readers may wonder where the philosophical distinctions between the parties will be if the GOP goes Ripon. But the book will provide solid ammunition for crusaders in both camps as they look toward 1972.

Pub Date: April 29th, 1969
Publisher: Dial