The Moral Center by David Callahan (Harcourt, 260 pages, $24.00)
Ever since the 2004 exit polls, progressives have been puzzling over how to reclaim so-called values voters. Or, to put the problem another way, how can Democrats satisfy Americans' interests (the economy, stupid, and bring those troops home alive) while also appealing to their desires for moral direction? In The Moral Center, David Callahan tackles this conundrum with some fresh and provocative insights in the hope of advancing, as he says in the preface, "a different way of thinking about values."
As Congress diddles with a Medicare prescription-drug plan, citizens are busing and clicking their way to Canadian pharmacies, where drugs are affordable. U.S. politicians, refusing to control drug prices, are also flocking to Canada for help by endorsing what's euphemistically called "reimportation." But make no mistake: What we are really importing from Canada is effective government regulation.
A close election, goes the old cliché, proves that every vote counts. Election 2000 proved just the opposite: When the election is close and every vote counts, or is supposed to, that's when the voter is the least powerful.