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The Return of Two-Party Politics

- Abstract

For a full generation the Republicans have suffered from an inferiority complex, reflecting a painful awareness that they lacked political sex appeal on economic issues. After each of the five Roosevelt-Truman victories, Republican leaders found that the voting returns of any city pretty much matched its income map. In silk-stocking neighborhoods the Republicans would do well, but the lower down the economic ladder one went, the thinner the Republican vote got.

Since the depression Republican political strategy has been dominated by one driving motive—a hunt for issues or candidates which would divert popular attention from this weakness on bread and work issues. This lack of economic confidence largely explains the eagerness with which so many Republicans have capitalized on the disil-lusionments of foreign policy. Until the GOP regains its economic nerve, it is doubtful that it can serve as a truly stable and constructive party.

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