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AND I QUOTE / What Political Books Are Saying : WHY I AM A DEMOCRAT, By Theodore C. Sorensen (Henry Holt: $20; 234 pp.)

May 26, 1996|John Balzar

"I do not believe that America as we know it can long survive an indefinite state of affairs in which the rich get still richer, the poor get still poorer and the security of those in between gets weaker and weaker. . . . Democrats do not believe it is the federal government's responsibility to make all Americans equally rich or equally poor, but they do believe that government policies must not aggravate excessive disparities. Most of the world's industrialized countries in recent years have struggled to cope with similar long-term trends. But only the United States is doing so by punishing its unskilled, uneducated and unemployed."

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With echoes of Camelot, JFK's attorney and speech writer argues the case for Democratic party ideals. Sorensen writes in answer to today's widespread doubts: Just what do Democrats stand for? Not much, you might say. But Sorensen reminds younger generations that standing for something requires that a party first stand on something--its principles.

In this light: The Democratic party makes a coherent and appealing portrait.

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