THE MAKING OF THE NEW MAJORITY PARTY by William A. Rusher

THE MAKING OF THE NEW MAJORITY PARTY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Rusher, the publisher of National Review, diffidently revives a Kevin Phillips-style coalition of old and new conservatives in an ""Independence Party"" that, he believes, could win shards of the Republicans, former Wallace followers, populists, blue-collar ""ethnics,"" and others who hate public assistance, the liberal press, the Russians and university ""verbalists."" The 1976 candidate will require a ""temperament so balanced and serene that it can almost command its environment"" and a ""reassuring"" tone with no trace of radical shrillness. The platform: restoration of the death penalty, a school voucher system of education, the ""mutual interest"" of worker and management, reduced government spending, and a pledge to ""honor and reward hard work."" Reagan might be the best man, a bit old but well-known, a good compromiser. Wallace is too disabled and too raucous. There are other front-runners, but Rusher doesn't bother discussing them. In fact, despite his quasi-Buckley style, his mood is closer to that of a tired liberal than of a new party architect out to conquer an electorate and wield a policy. He seems scarcely to believe the book himself. No mention is made of the economic collapse, much less any blame allocated, and political analysis is replaced by ruminations about good old campaign songs and where to put party headquarters. Rusher may be right that since the 1950's American liberalism ""was plainly running out of steam,"" but he provides no sense of being able to produce a functioning political machine, much less a national rebirth.

Pub Date: June 10th, 1975
Publisher: Sheed & Ward