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We the Purple: Faith, Politics, and the Independent Voter [Hardcover]

By Marcia Ford (Author)
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Item Number 84329  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   240
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.6" Width: 5.52" Height: 0.87"
Weight:   0.78 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Mar 31, 2008
Publisher   Tyndale House Publishers
ISBN  1414317174  
EAN  9781414317175  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
We the Purple educates and motivates readers to have their "vote" and political action informed by their faith rather than a particular political party. We the Purple speaks to voters who are not mindlessly aligned with one political party or another, but who analyze each issue through the lens of a Christian worldview. Issues and faith determine how these people vote. The media has labeled 2008 as the year of the independent voter. This book is here just in time!

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More About Marcia Ford

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Marcia Ford is a former religion editor for The Ashbury Park Press, associate editor of "Charisma" magazine, and editor of "Christian Retailing."

Marcia Ford currently resides in Orlando, in the state of Florida.

Marcia Ford has published or released items in the following series...
  1. 101 Most Powerful Series

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Government > Elections   [778  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Politics > Political Parties   [698  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > General   [17908  similar products]
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > Church & State   [1182  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
More Religion Than I Expected, But Totally Righteous  Jun 10, 2009
This is one of the books that I bought at a transpartisan event (the Republican term is post-partisan. It is one of the books,I list ten others below, that have persuaded me that 2008 is the tipping point year for burying the two parties that have been in breach of the public trust, and restoring the Constitution, the Republic, and the sovereign We.

This is a small book, a serious book, with a wonderfully educational gloassry, very serious endnotes, and a list of ten web sites that I am immediately adding to the home page of Earth Intelligence Network.

The author introduces herself as a voter without a party and a Christian without a church, and having myself been so very angry with the parties and the churches this immediately grabs me.

She credits Barney Frank early on with being the originator of the "purple states" term from which is derived "purple voter," and as a military person I am further impressed because "purple" is the color we use to define truly joint integrated operations that are not corrupted by inter-service rivalry.

The author discusses how from 2006-2009 the polls consistently have shown that 33-39% of America is neither Democratic nor Republican, and I observe a Pew poll just in the last two weeks that puts self-defined independents at 39%, the Democrats at 33%, and the Republicans at 26% or so and falling.

I have a note to myself, this book is a pre-cursor and companion to both Grand Illusion: The Myth of Voter Choice in a Two-Party Tyranny and Running on Empty: How the Democratic and Republican Parties Are Bankrupting Our Future and What Americans Can Do About It.

Page 9-10 (after a long preface) have a list of citizen grievances, I will quote just the first one:

"We're tired--tired of two parties whose main priority is self-preservation and self-promotion rather than serving the people who voted them into office."

This is of course correct, and I would add that it is the loss of integrity across the government--executive as well as within Congress--that is responsible. See among other books Breach of Trust: How Washington Turns Outsiders Into Insiders and Vice: Dick Cheney and the Hijacking of the American Presidency.

The author discusses a number of electoral reforms that are needed, including non-partisan elections, universally-available write-in options, the instant run-off (and variations I was unaware of), term limits, getting rid of the money, an end to gerrymandering (tightly drawn distrcits), and an end to party registration as part of the voting process. All good stuff, see my comments for the list of eight reforms in the Electoral Reform Act that a number of us have press pressing on since the year 2000 while Al Gore sold his integrity for what we now know has become a $100 million pay-off. See The Best Democracy Money Can Buy for the back-story, all known to Gore three months in advance of the election.

I am much taken with the author's brief discussion of how Independents are NOT "undecideds" and are not "swing" voters either. The discussion of how the media ignores (disenfranchises) independent voters, and how the Internet is now empowering ordinary people, is worthy.

I like the author's conclusion that mixing religion and politics is a huge mistake.

Finally I have a note on the author's view that abortion and gay rights are two issues that divide us, and although I did not see this in the book, my own conclusion inspired by others is that we are wasting all of our time arguing about the 20% where we cannot agree, instead of focusing on the 80% where we can make gains: education, family, health, etcetera.

Here are six other books that support and bracket this one:
Crashing the Gate: Netroots, Grassroots, and the Rise of People-Powered Politics
Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies
Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Social Movement in History Is Restoring Grace, Justice, and Beauty to the World
VOICE OF THE PEOPLE: The Transpartisan Imperative in American Life
Election 2008: Lipstick on the Pig (Substance of Governance; Legitimate Grievances; Candidates on the Issues; Balanced Budget 101; Call to Arms: Fund We Not Them; Annotated Bibliography)

There are so many books I wish I could link to, especially with respect to betrayal of the public trust by government and the inappropriate insertion of religious ideology into both domestic and foreign affairs. See the comment for a link to my reviews of 500+ non-fiction books, all organized to empower individual citizens with knowledge not available to them from any political source.
Not too late to think about Independent politics  Apr 6, 2009
We the Purple is a book about non-partisan politics, something that seems like a fairy tale dream in America's current political climate. This was an interesting read during an election year and the continuing, heated Democratic primaries.

As stated on my blog before, I tend to shy away from political posting, since that is not the purpose of my blog. However, We the Purple is a great read for anyone, both believer or non-believer in Christ, who is tired of today's two party political system.

For the record, I'm am politically what most would consider a "conservative." I'm actually becoming more libertarian in my views as I get older, as I see the grace and mercy of Christ that has been given to me so that I can share it with others. I still enjoy listening to conservative talk radio, though I am not a mind-numbed robot. You might say I am pretty much a Reagan conservative with libertarian leanings.

In a nutshell, We the Purple is all about the growing "independent" movement sweeping across the political landscape. I would venture a guess that this movement is much larger than most of us perceive, simply because it is not organized around a central authority or party office. The independent political movement is grassroots, and covers the gamut of political thought from "ultraconservative to ultraliberal. Some are antiabortion, others proabortion [sic]. Some support the war in Iraq; others oppose it. Some oppose gay marriage; some support it, and still others don't care one way or another about what they consider to be a nonissue [sic]."

What Marcia Ford has discovered, and become a part of herself, is a movement that is more concerned about leading America forward together than about "might makes right" political clout.

For me, since I've tried to pull back on my interest in politics in the last five years or so, the book started out fairly slow. About halfway through the book though, she spoke about something near and dear to my heart: the power and influence of bloggers. Ford takes some time to notate how the political landscape has been forever changed by the involvement of the blogging community, even to the extent of successfully removing politicians from office, and getting policies changed.

Where the book REALLY struck a chord with me is in the section called "The Disintegration of Worship." I love how Ford delves into the reality that the Evangelical Right's support of the Republican party has not advanced the fight against abortion in any significant way. She also gives anecdotal evidence how that, even in liberal churches, support from the pulpit for particular political ideology has done little more than polarize the church. (Jeremiah Wright anyone?)

She taps into the basic idea that, when we bring politics into the church, the church is no longer functioning as it should. A house once dedicated to worship and prayer finds itself doing little of either when it allows politics to determine its destiny. Rather, teach your congregation the essentials of the faith, and watch them live out that faith.

I would recommend We the Purple to just about anyone. Even if you are not interested in politics, you will learn a good bit about history and America's political system. You might also find yourself to be more involved in the process, but not in obvious ways. My only criticism of the book would be the cover design. I see what they were trying to do in designing it, but based on cover design alone, I would never have picked the book up in the book store. So, don't judge a book by its cover, literally.
Independent, Yes. Great writing, No.  Aug 3, 2008
We the Purple by Marcia Ford is a look at independent voters in America with a Christian perspective. Ford has published several books with this latest addition taking her distinct perspective to the political arena.

We the Purple is both about and finds its primary audience in independent voters - those who do not claim a political party. Ford takes the reader through many aspects of the independent voter from the nuances of registration in states to the potential that the internet has for independent voters to organize. Included are many profiles of independent voters from across the country.

Ford writes in a very personal way and uses a mix of data, definitions and vignettes to draw attention to what she see as the plight of independent voters - lack of attention or respect. She often quotes others as a part of bringing the point home.

I enjoyed learning about independent voters and the political environment in various states in response to these voters. I find myself resonating with those who do not claim a particular political party, but did not find Ford's description of the independent voter particularly compelling. I also found stereotypes of people of faith in response to politics that I do not believe are the case any longer. I recommend this book to those who are interested in learning more about independent voters.
A conversation about politics and religion  Jul 14, 2008
Journalist, editor and author Marcia Ford gets her news from Comedy Central. This small detail suggests what you can expect from her latest book --- a rollicking yet informed perspective on politics that isn't afraid to flout convention. Make that "conventions," as in the Republican and Democratic conventions that will be convening this summer to formally select their presidential candidates. Ford eschews both parties.

"The truth is, I am every partisan politician's worst nightmare --- a registered independent," writes Ford. "Wildly unpredictable in my voting habits over the last three decades and more, I have cast ballots for Democrats, Republicans, independents and assorted loose cannons. I have also cast ballots against Democrats, Republicans, independents, and assorted loose cannons. And I have cast no ballot at all in those years when political ennui overtook me, when voting for the lesser of two evils appeared to be more evil than not voting at all. In those years, I intentionally avoided the evil of two lessers."

Independent voters like Ford have been dubbed "Purple" voters for their penchant to blend Red- and Blue-State politics (not to mention Green and all manner of politics that have avoided a primary color designation). But far from being indecisive or non-committal, Ford contends that Purple voters are passionate about politics, so much so that they're unwilling to passively play into the two-party system that stifles real dialogue and effective governance. She writes, "When a candidate is not beholden to a major political party, that candidate is free not only to speak her mind but also to engage in more creative problem-solving."

Ford also points out that the two-party system has been especially poisonous for faith communities who are often held hostage by religious political rhetoric that tells voters they risk spiritual and/or personal failure by voting the wrong way. Ford, who left a church that became politicized, writes, "While pastors were preaching the Republican line, the spiritual life of their congregations was draining away drop by drop." And it's not just a problem in conservative churches: partisan politics plays out in liberal mainline, African-American and other churches. "As paradoxical as the image may seem, if Christians remained morally centered, their votes could swing all along the political spectrum."

WE THE PURPLE came out of an idea for an essay, and sometimes it shows, with digressions that fill up space on the page rather than keep Ford's thesis focused. Rabbit trails abound. And at one point she takes the position that those who don't vote, even if their reasons amount to laziness, should feel entitled to complain about the government. Basic freedom of speech issues aside (of course, no is suggesting that people who don't vote actually have their right to free speech taken away), it does seem fair to suggest that those unwilling to engage the political process should be reticent to complain when that process results in unwanted outcomes. How her assertion on behalf of non-voters fits into her ideas about morally centered, independent voting is unclear to me apart from the fact it's certainly an outsider position and therefore would be welcome in the large embrace of Purple politics that she advocates.

It's this large embrace of Purple politics that gives WE THE PURPLE something of an unwieldy arc. Given that independent voters are so, well, independent, Ford's effort to speak on behalf of Purple voters as a group often seems counter-intuitive. But her book does provide a helpful framework, especially for evangelicals, for thinking about the real deficiencies of the current two-party system and what ordinary people can do to buck that system. According to the statistics, Purple voters are increasingly a force to be reckoned with. WE THE PURPLE offers helpful insider analysis of this trend for people scratching their heads over the non-affiliated and those already "proud to be Purple!"

--- Reviewed by Lisa Ann Cockrel

A Fascinating Look at the Independent in Politics  Jul 14, 2008
Marcia Ford has written thorough and thoughtful book for anyone interested in today's politics and the mindset of the independent voter.

As she writes in the opening pages of this well-done book, "The truth is, I am every partisan politician's worst nightmare--a registered independent. Wildly unpredictable in my voting habits over the last three decades and more, I have cast ballots for Democrats, Republicans, independents, and assorted loose cannons. I have also cast ballots against Democrats, Republicans, independents, and assorted loose cannons. And I have cast no ballot at all in those years when political ennui overtook me, when voting for the lesser of two evils appeared to be more evil than not at all. In those years, I intentionally avoided the evil of two lesser." (page xvii)

Get this book because her writing, research and information are worth the time and effort to read it. As Ford concludes, "My involvement with the independent voter movement has given me great hope for the future of this country, hope I didn't have before." (page 188) I recommend this title.

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