This book takes you behind today's headlines to reveal the enormous social and economic changes that created an opening for Donald Trump to appeal to white working class voters in the Midwest. The Roots of Defeat tells the story of the New Deal Democratic Party and how changes in the world economy brought it down in the 1970s. The book is stuffed with insights about how President Bill Clinton then created the new Third Way Democratic Party and how Barack Obama closely followed the Clinton model during his presidency. Mr. Pearson weaves an intricate tale of rapid economic change mixing with savage political competition. Mr. Pearson writes "Since the 1970s the U.S. has suffered through a series of recessions that were followed by ever slower weaker economic recoveries. The cumulative effect is enormous social change.
"The economic world we face in the 2010s when we walk out the door each morning is very different from the one Americans faced in the 1950s and 1960s." At the center of the story is the Democratic Party leaving behind its New Deal policies to embrace Wall Street and other wealthy donors while neglecting the average American. The consequences are dramatic and devastating &ndash a chronic economic crisis of stagnant wages men leaving the labor force communities of color impoverished and a whole generation of millennials cast adrift. Mr. Pearson shows how President Obama's policy failures helped create the conditions for the rise of Bernie Sanders the struggles of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump's ultimate victory. He writes "After many years of conservative Democratic economic policies ...the northern and western white working class has become a swing vote warily choosing between two parties that never really represent their economic interests."
Monte L. Pearson is the author of Perils of Empire: The Roman Republic and the American Republic. Mr. Pearson blogs about the complex intersection of politics economics and people at: TheDemocraticChallenge.com. He grew up on Orchard Prairie near Spokane Washington and now lives and works in New England.