Kevin Phillips – USA

Linked with American Theocracy.

Kevin Phillips (born November 30, 1940) is an American writer and commentator, largely on politics, economics, and history. Formerly a Republican Party strategist, Phillips has become disaffected with his former party over the last two decades, and is now one of its harshest critics. He is a regular contributor to the Los Angeles Times and National Public Radio, and is a political analyst on PBS’ NOW with Bill Moyers. (full text).

He says: “Now what I get a sense of from all of this – and then topped obviously by spending all the money in 2000 to basically buy the election – is that this is not a family that has a particularly strong commitment to American democracy. Its sense of how to win elections comes out of a CIA manual, not out of the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution” …

… and: “Few have looked at the facts of the family’s rise, but just as important, commentators have neglected the thread – not the mere occasion – of special interests, biases, scandals (especially those related to arms dealing), and blatant business cronyism. The evidence that accumulates over four generations [of the Bush family dynasty] is really quite damning”. (full text).

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Kevin Phillips – USA.


He says also: “Well, the plutocracy … and I think we have one now and we didn’t, 12 years ago when I wrote THE POLITICS OF RICH AND POOR is when money has ceased just entertaining itself with leveraged buyouts and all the stuff they did in the ’80s, and really takes over politics, and takes it over on both sides when money not only talks, money screams. When you start developing philosophies in which giving a check is a First Amendment right. That’s incredible. But what you’ve got is that this is what money has done. It’s produced the fusion of money and government. And that is plutocracy”…

… and: ” … the key thing in the year 2000 was that if you look at all the psychological profiles of the United States, of the electorate during that period, even though the Nasdaq had started to crash they still thought things were pretty good. The real dive didn’t come until after the election when you had the miserable elections stalemate and the sagging economy. So that basically, you never get one of these reactions against big money until you’ve had this speculative implosion. And normally I think if we were seeing any kind of debate in Washington, and the Democrats have all kinds of things they could say about the Bush dynasty and Enron, for example, it’s mind blowing, but they don’t”. (full long interview).

Kevin Phillips first became known for his 1969 book, The Emerging Republican Majority, written in 1967 and 1968, and used by Richard Nixon in his successful 1968 presidential campaign. The Emerging Republican Majority predicted a new era of GOP control of the presidency based on the realignment of the South. Newsweek described it as “the political bible of the Nixon Administration.”

After Ronald Reagan’s election in 1980 restored the 1968-72 dynamics, Phillips was generally acknowledged as the Republican party’s principal electoral theoretician. In 1982, the Wall Street Journal described him as “the leading conservative electoral analyst — the man who invented the Sun Belt, named the New Right, and prophesied ‘The Emerging Republican Majority’ in 1969.”

In 1978, Phillips became a radio commentator for CBS News, and in 1984, for National Public Radio as well. He served as a commentator for CBS Television News during the 1984, 1988, 1992 and 1996 election seasons and conventions.

Beginning with The Emerging Republican Majority in 1969, he has published a total of twelve books:

  • Mediacracy: American Parties and Politics in the Communications Age (1974),
  • Post-Conservative America (1982),
  • Staying on Top: The Business Case for a National Industrial Strategy (1984),
  • The Politics of Rich and Poor: Wealth and Electorate in the Reagan Aftermath (1990),
  • Boiling Point: Democrats, Republicans and the Decline of Middle Class Prosperity (1993),
  • Arrogant Capital: Washington, Wall Street and the Frustration of American Politics (1994),
  • The Cousins’ Wars: Religion, Politics and the Triumph of Anglo-America (1999),
  • Wealth and Democracy: A Political History of the American Rich (2002),
  • William McKinley (2003),
  • American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush (January 2004),
  • and American Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil (2006),
  • and Borrowed Money (March, 2006).

In 1990, The Politics of Rich and Poor, a critique of Reagan-Bush economics, rose to number two on the New York Times bestseller list, aided by the fact of its endorsement (in book jacket blurbs) by former Republican president Nixon and New York Governor Mario Cuomo, at that time expected to be the 1992 Democratic presidential candidate. The book would later be described as a “founding document” of the 1992 presidential election campaigns of Clinton and other Democrats and independent Perot. (full text).

His boook ‘American Dynasty – Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush’, 2004. writes about: “In American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush, Phillips traces the rise of the Bush family from investment banking elites to political power brokers, using their Ivy League network, vast wealth, and questionable political maneuvering to obtain the White House and consequently, shake the foundation of constitutional American democracy.

Citing the Bush family mainstays of finance, energy (oil), the military industrial complex, and national security and intelligence (the CIA), Phillips uses copious examples to show the dangerous alliance between the Bushes’ business interests (huge corporations such as Enron and Haliburton) and the formation of national policy. No other family, Phillips says, that has fulfilled its presidential aspirations has been so involved in the ascendancy of the arms industry and of the 21st-century American imperium–often at the expense of regional and world peace and for their personal gain”. (full long review text, scroll down to ‘his books’).

Rev. Dr. Allen Dwight Callahan, Interim Associate Protestant University Chaplain: his review of ‘AMERICAN THEOCRACY: THE PERIL AND POLITICS OF RADICAL RELIGION, OIL, AND BORROWED MONEY IN THE 21st CENTURY’ (Viking, 2006): (It) is the third of what author Kevin Phillips, the veteran Republican analyst and Bush family critic, calls “a trilogy of indictments,” following his reportage in AMERICAN DYNASTY (2004) and WEALTH AND DEMOCRACY (2002). As the subtitle suggests, Phillips’s latest book is a tripartite critique. He leads off with “Oil and American Supremacy,” making his case against big oil and its in stranglehold on the executive branch, and he concludes with “Borrowed Prosperity,” documenting how the United States has become both the biggest debtor and the biggest ongoing borrower in the world.

But Phillips’s case against the religious zealotry in his once-beloved GOP is at the center of the book. For the ancient Romans, “religio,” formed from the Latin “ligare” – “to bind” – signified those sacred rites that bound people together. Phillips argues that fundamentalist evangelical religion now binds together the coalition in control of the Republican Party. “Religious voters cast close to half or the nation’s votes,” he notes. “Among whites, some 70 to 75 percent supported George W. Bush and represented by far the largest portion of his electoral coalition.”

In a 2003 Pew Research Center survey, 63 percent of white evangelical Protestants called the state of Israel a fulfillment of the biblical prophecy of the second coming of Jesus, and in another Pew Center survey published in 2004, 55 percent of white evangelical Protestants said they considered “following religious principles” a top priority for foreign policy.

Phillips also cites political science professor John Green’s observation that “religious conservatives were absolutely critical to President Bush’s re-election,” and he quotes with approval Washington bureau chief Susan Page of USA TODAY, who wrote about a 2004 poll in that paper, “Forget the gender gap. The ‘religion gap’ is bigger, more powerful, and growing.” (full long review text).

His books and articles:

Reviews about his books:

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