Contract to Unite America
Ten Reforms to Reclaim Our Republic
by Neal Simon
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 18 Feb 2020 | Archive Date 10 Aug 2020
Mascot Books, RealClear Publishing
The alternate domination of one faction over another, natural to party dissension...is itself a frightful despotism. - George Washington
George Washington's nightmare has been realized. In his farewell address in 1796, Washington cautioned against the baneful effects of political parties. Despite his warning, the U.S. government has become paralyzed by partisanship, while national challenges go unaddressed.
As an independent candidate for U.S. Senate in 2018, Neal Simon was a witness to the destructive nature of modern American politics. He experienced firsthand the perverse incentives that push candidates and lawmakers to ideological extremes. He saw the resistance of party leaders to pragmatic solutions to our nation's problems. He watched politicians, responding rationally to current electoral incentives, prioritize loyalty to their party bases over progress for the American people.
In this analysis of United States politics, Simon shows how degradations in party primaries, campaign finances, and election rules have caused American self government to collapse into gridlock and divisiveness. But the American promise is so much greater. The basis of our political systems, the first U.S. president noted in his famed address, is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government. Capitalizing on personal insight derived from Simon's political campaign along with extensive research, Contract to Unite America provides specific, practical solutions for an improved government and a better tomorrow.
"My husband always put country ahead of party, and he would be proud to know that other mavericks out there are still doing the same. Contract to Unite America makes a compelling case for reforms that were dear to John: not only campaign finance reform and bipartisan administrations, but also enriched civics education and expanded national service."
--Cindy McCain, businesswoman and widow of Senator John McCain
Whenever I speak about the dysfunction in our politics, which is often, I am asked for solutions. Here at last is what I can recommend. Neal Simon has written a thoughtful, well-sourced, and truly independent prescription for what ails America. This is the book our elected officials hope you never read.
--Michael Smerconish, SiriusXM and CNN
Neal Simon is insightful, funny, and solutions-focused. In Contract to Unite America, he illuminates a path forward for politics--one fostering cooperation and new approaches to problem-solving. We enthusiastically recommend it.
--Katherine M. Gehl and Michael E. Porter, authors of The Politics Industry: How Political Innovation Can Break Partisan Gridlock and Save Our Democracy
Comprehensive content, public relations, and distribution strategy
Comprehensive content, public relations, and distribution strategy
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 6 members
I have never liked when people would ask me my nationality, as most of the time they were inquiring what country my ancestors came from. I began a practice of telling them I was an American, and during the 12-18 months after 9/11, almost all would smile and say something encouraging. In today’s world, if I state I am an American, they look at me like I have two heads. And for the record, that is the reaction of people in both major parties. I have been reading a lot of political books lately, and it is refreshing when I come across one that does not fill the better part of 300 pages with direct attacks against the opposite party or backhanded snarky comments weakly disguised as fact. Neal Simon’s “Contract to Unite America” is a well-written message to those who are tired of our government not working and the bitter rancor that exists between many who identify as Democrats and Republicans. Instead of constantly attacking people, Mr. Simon’s main thrusts are aimed at demolishing the walls that separate and prevent us from becoming a country whose citizens can set aside differences and learn to work together. Some of the polls on how members of the opposite parties think about the other side are shocking and illuminating as they help open our eyes to the bombardment of “facts” designed to sell us on the idea that our political party is best and the other party is evil. After reading the book, I have to admit that I am not 100% behind the ten contract points he describes. Some I am not even close to 50%, but here is what is important. How can we ever hope to compromise and heal if we don’t even bother to actively listen to what others have to say? Readers can gain an idea of Mr. Simon’s politics and while he and I don’t match, I can still respect his ideas. I can choose to immediately back the ones I whole-heartedly believe in (my number-one 100% match? Term Limits) and I can listen and discuss those ideas and work toward a give-and-take solution. “Contract to Unite America” may not be the ultimate solution, but it is a positive approach and a step in the right direction. Recommended reading for anyone nearing or at the voting age. Five stars. My thanks to NetGalley and Real Clear Publishing for a complimentary ebook of this title.
Americans have been divided throughout our history due to our political affiliations, but more so since the 2016 election. There are people on both sides that will defend their politicians because they are from their party, no matter what they do or say. The author of this book tries to tear down the walls that divide us and move forward together. He doesn't say that people have to abandon their beliefs, but shows how we can work and live together without constant conflict and insults. I found some of the information about how money controls politics to be interesting, as I have always known it has, but not to the extent it actually does. I highly recommend this book, as it is important for us to grow and find our way back to being the United States vs the Divided State we have become.
I thought this was an interesting look at the problems in politics today. He shows how it is definitely a two party system. How money plays a large part in what happens with elections and even legislation that is passed. I recommend the book whether you are from one party or the other. There are some eye opening things happening that need to be exposed.
I recommend that this book should be a MUST READ for every citizen of our Country! A 5 star review doesn't reflect how informative, well written and easy to understand this book is!! You don't have to believe in everything the author writes about, but you should believe he is right in that our government is not working with a 2 party system. Why are there only Republican or Democratic primary's? I enjoyed this book so much that it inspired me to become more active in our government on the local, state and federal level. Thank you NetGalley for supplying me with this book for an honest review.
Contract to Unite America by Neal Simon 272 Pages Publisher: Mascot Books / RealClear Publishing Release Date: February 18, 2020 Nonfiction (Adult), Politics, History, Elections I was intrigued by the title of the book but even more so as I began reading. Neal Simon ran as an Independent for a Congressional seat in 2018 for the state of Maryland. Even though his polling numbers were rising after the first debate, the fact the second debate was cancelled made him pull out of the election. He brings up many valid points in the book. These are the ten items he discusses in depth. Item 1: Open Primaries Item 2: Educated Electorate Act Item 3: Term Limits Constitutional Amendment Item 4: Elections Transparency Act Item 5: Campaign Finance Constitutional Amendment Item 6: Ballot Access Act Item 7: Fair Districts Act Item 8: Fair Representation Act Item 9: Congressional Rules Act Item 10: Creating a Culture of Unity He mentions at the beginning of the book that this book is more moderate than conservative or progressive. He gives excellent reasonings behind all ten items. I completely agree that term limits should be in place for Congress and Senate since Governors and Presidents have them. As an independent in Maryland, I was always frustrated that I could not vote in a primary. The person I would have voted for never made it out of the primary. If there were open primaries, it is possible different candidates would be the winners. Mr. Simon’s writing style is easy to read and understand. His research is very thorough, and I liked the way he presented his arguments for change. In fact, I found myself nodding my head as I was reading. If you are interested in politics and how we can fix the system and move forward, you will like this book.