Shaking Off the Past:

E. J. Dionne Jr.

in The Fractious Nation?

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2003 | ISBN: 9780520220430
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520936911 | DOI:
Shaking Off the Past:

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  • Social Stratification, Inequality, and Mobility


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This chapter identifies new lines of division and disputation that overlap without entirely displacing the older liberal-conservative cleavages—a center-left “Third Way” that Clinton and Tony Blair crafted in the 1990s and a center-right “Fourth Way” that Bush offered, at least rhetorically, in the 2000 presidential election. It observes that in some ways voting has become more partisan—there are fewer split tickets these days—yet the role of Independents in politics looms large. It further observes that America is divided sharply along ideological lines—such is the lesson of polarization around the Clinton impeachment and the Florida election fiasco of 2000—yet there is that rush to the political center. It asks the historical context of these changes.

Keywords: liberal-conservative; center-left Third Way; Clinton; Tony Blair; Bush; politics; ideological lines; polarization; impeachment; Florida election

Chapter.  9624 words. 

Subjects: Social Stratification, Inequality, and Mobility

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