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Reviewed by Stefan Vucak for Readers' Favorite
The Beltway Beast opens with a depressing summary of the American political system that is subject to corporate lobbyists and focus by Congressmen to get reelected rather than serve the interests of the people and the country. It is an interesting approach as it reinforces the perception that all politicians are basically untrustworthy. Once elected, Congressmen toe their party line and enjoy the perks of the office, life in Congress funded by vested interest groups who control government policy. Attempts were made to set up independent parties, but all failed due to lack of broad Congressional support. To fix the numerous economic and foreign policy issues outlined in the book, Munir Moon advocates creation of a new political party, whose charter is: ‘The People’s Party of America’s (PPA) vision for America is to be a nation of entrepreneurs and innovators who are free from bureaucracy and centralized power. It is a party that is fiscally and socially responsible. It espouses personal responsibility and decentralized government as its core theme.’
I found The Beltway Beast and Munir Moon’s wealth of statistical information to back up his dissertation a fascinating read that in many respects will confirm the people’s view of the inefficiencies and ineffectiveness inherent in the current U.S. political and domestic systems. Although notionally reasonable, the proposed ‘solutions’ to address a plethora of domestic and foreign policy problems outlined in each chapter tend to get dogmatic as the solutions are based on a premise that Congress is filled with reasonable representatives and the population in general actually cares what is going on and wants to participate in the political decision-making process. Sadly, the reality is altogether different as Munir Moon himself acknowledges. The People’s Party of America’s manifesto is to establish itself and win electoral support to implement its remedial policies; a laudable objective. However, to succeed, the PPA would need to obtain absolute control of Congress and state legislature mechanisms. The party’s program is an idealist’s view that ignores reality and has no prospect of being realized - unless the party manages to obtain total political power. The obvious danger with such a vision, should it be even partially realized, could easily lead to dictatorial rule.
Some readers of The Beltway Beast will not find this book palatable and its proposed solutions Utopian, but they will find it thoughtful and worthy of consideration when choosing their state or federal candidates. To solve the national problems outlined in the book, American people will need to become involved in the political process and make their voices heard. The alternative is to maintain an intransigent Congress where national interests are ignored in the pursuit of partisan obstinacy. However, overcoming vested corporate interests promulgated by the lobby army who control politicians on both sides of the aisle will be a daunting challenge that many feel should nevertheless be pursued.