by Paul Deaton
If interested in Iowa Democratic politics, read No Surrender: Building a Progressive Agenda for Iowa with the Five Securities by former state senator Jack Hatch. Read it now.
There are few long, contemporary narratives about the state of the Iowa Democratic Party. Hatch’s 2016 book recounts where we are, where we have been and where we could go.
The importance of the book is twofold.
It serves as a great way for political newcomers to get up to speed on Democratic politics. The results of the 2016 general election activated people around the state to become more involved in politics. No Surrender serves as a briefing book of major policy issues and how Democrats addressed them. Our approach stands in sharp contrast to Republicans, according to Hatch.
The author has standing to address flaws in Democratic approaches to elections and governance. A 22-year state legislator, chair of the White House Task Force of State Legislators for Health Care Reform, and 2014 gubernatorial candidate, Hatch tells the story of the rise of Democrats in 2006 and what we did while occupying the governor’s mansion and holding majorities in both chambers of the legislature. He also recounts how we fell. To be effective going forward, politically active Democrats need the sense of history No Surrender provides.
As with most contemporary political writing, there is a short shelf life to this book. Nonetheless, Hatch asserts Democratic values are more enduring: a progressive tax system, better jobs and livable wages, soil and water protection, life-long education, and health care for all.
Hatch lays out how a focus on policy could contribute to Democratic electoral wins and effective policy-making going forward. No Surrender provides a framework for policy-making much needed in these turbulent political times.
~ First posted on Amazon.com