Social Policy & Politics Program | Report

The Still-Vital Center: Moderates, Democrats, and the Renewal of American Politics

by William Galston and Dr. Elaine C. Kamarck

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In the last few weeks, it’s become all too clear that our nation is facing both a crisis in governance and a crisis of faith in politics.

Despite three consecutive wave elections in 2006, 2008 and 2010 that each resulted in shifts of political control, Americans are no happier with their representation in Congress. Moreover, Congress is headed toward a showdown over the federal budget that could cripple the nascent recovery and paralyze Capitol Hill.

In this new report, William A. Galston of the Brookings Institution and Elaine C. Kamarck of Harvard University, argue that political polarization—the loss of moderates from the political and policy process—is the root cause of the current crises in governance and politics. Galston and Kamarck argue that few causes are more important to America’s future than the embrace of political process reforms that will diminish the hyper-partisanship now disfiguring our nation’s politics.

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