Liars! Cheaters! Evildoers!: Demonization and the End of Civil Debate in American Politics

Liars! Cheaters! Evildoers!: Demonization and the End of Civil Debate in American Politics

by Tom De Luca, John Buell
     
 

The level of vitriol in American politics has been rising with no end in sight. Terms like "evildoer," "war on terror," and "axis of evil" have become commonplace in our discussion of international politics. What ever happened to civil debate? Where has all this moralizing come from? And what harm has this new level of attack caused to democracy in America?

In

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Overview

The level of vitriol in American politics has been rising with no end in sight. Terms like "evildoer," "war on terror," and "axis of evil" have become commonplace in our discussion of international politics. What ever happened to civil debate? Where has all this moralizing come from? And what harm has this new level of attack caused to democracy in America?

In this compelling and cogent account, Tom De Luca and John Buell chart the rise of what they rightly label as the "demonization" of American politics, showing how political campaigns often neglect debates over policy in favor of fights over the private character and personal lives of politicians. Political interests are still served by this style of politics, but democracy, the authors contend, is the loser. Covering everything from the Clinton impeachment to the war on terrorism to the 2004 presidential campaign, the authors show the distinctly American qualities of demonization and how their frequency and intensity has grown in the last four decades.

Suggesting that demonization is not inevitable or irreversible, this important book offers ways out of the political mudpit and back to a more civilized debate where democracy and freedom of speech can coexist in a productive, idea-rich environment.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780814719756
Publisher:
New York University Press
Publication date:
08/01/2005
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
228
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction : holy war by other means1
1Demonization American-style19
2The politics of moral personae31
3America's moral paradox44
4The deep divide and the most vulnerable64
5Seeking the enemy87
6Terror, evil, and the new Cold War102
7Terror wars and culture wars129
8Preserve the environment! : become an environmental sport149
Conclusion : a new democratic covenant164

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