The Political Fix: Changing the Game of American Democracy, from the Grassroots to the White House

by Douglas E. Schoen

January 5, 2010
Times Books
Hardcover Nonfiction
ISBN-13: 978-0805089738
288 pages

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The Political Fix (2010)

Top political insider Douglas E. Schoen dissects the failures of modern politics and unveils the practical-minded, citizen-powered solutions that will revive American democracy.

One of America’s foremost political pollsters, Douglas E. Schoen, shows how the electoral system can be mended so that it once again serves and inspires the American people—no matter their party.

In The Political Fix, Schoen lays out provocative yet highly achievable solutions—from completely unmoderated debates to a rotating primary schedule—that will compel politicians to be responsive to citizens rather than to special interests. To ensure justice for all, he calls for removing the attorney general from the cabinet and creating joint chiefs of staff for the Justice Department. He points to innovations on the state and local level—from Alaska, where the state checkbook is posted on the Web, to New York City, where residents can call a single toll-free number to access government services. And he argues that the obsession with capping the influence of large donors has strangled genuine reform—and the answer is to get more money into politics, through a tax credit for small donors.

Schoen provides a rallying cry and an action plan for the thousands of Americans hungry for long-lasting political change.


Praise for The Political Fix

“Doug Schoen offers a number of very intelligent, bipartisan solutions to make American government more responsive and effective. The book provides a road map to making our system work more like our Founding Fathers envisioned.”
—Bill Clinton

“Doug Schoen and I see things from different perspectives, but I always know that he analyzes things in an objective, rational, straightforward way. He doesn’t see things through an ideological lens and in this book, as someone who has been part of it for more than thirty years, he provides a clear view on how to make the American political system more responsive.”­
—Sean Hannity

“A treasure trove of provocative ideas about how to improve American democracy offered by someone who has seen up close for decades how politics works in our country.”
—Bill Bradley

“Very few people understand the workings of the American political system as well as Doug Schoen. For more than twenty-five years Doug has been an instrumental inside player and observer of the political scene. This book comprehensively and articulately lays out Doug’s prescriptions for taking back a broken and oftentimes counterproductive system. I urge every political figure and junkie to read this important book.”
—Bob Kerrey

“This is a perceptive and provocative look at how our democracy works—and doesn’t. I don’t agree with all of it—for example, I think Bork deserved to be Borked—but THE POLITICAL FIX challenges settled assumptions and proposes bold reforms that range from grassroots empowerment to the way we elect Presidents. It’s a charter for a new kind of politics.”
—Bob Shrum