By Richard F. Fenno
Although a lot politicians are demeaned and denounced in sleek American society, our democracy couldn't paintings with no them. therefore, says Richard Fenno, their actions warrant our cognizance. In his pioneering booklet, Home Style, Fenno confirmed shut examine politicians at paintings of their districts can let us know very much in regards to the means of illustration. the following, Fenno employs a equally revealing grassroots method of discover how styles of illustration have replaced in contemporary decades.
Fenno makes a speciality of individuals of the U.S. apartment of Representatives who represented an analogous west-central Georgia district at diverse instances: Jack Flynt, who served from the Fifties to the Nineteen Seventies, and Mac Collins, who has held the seat within the Nineteen Nineties. His on-the-scene remark in their differing representational styles--Flynt specializes in humans, Collins on policy--reveals the ways that social and demographic alterations motivate shifts in representational techniques.
More than a learn of representational switch in a single district, Congress on the Grassroots additionally is helping remove darkness from the bigger topic of political switch within the South and within the state as a whole.
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Additional resources for Congress at the Grassroots: Representational Change in the South, 1970-1998
Every incentive moved him, in pathdependent fashion, to keep the strategy with which he had begun. And there is every evidence that this strategy—initially successful in a small, homogeneous electorate and then applied to ever-larger electorates—was personally satisfying to him in meeting his goal of involvement in the political community. Context Flynt’s constituency relationships developed, however, within a very distinctive context of time and place, a time of transition in the South. ∞ Jack Flynt’s thirty-two-year political career spanned this time of transition.
Flynt’s Original District, 1954–1964 (Georgia’s Fourth Congressional District) (see map 1), and that is where he adopted and perfected his basic representational strategy. The counties ranged in population from 7,000 to 50,000, with the median county population at 20,000. Their total population in 1954 was 298,000. His home county (Spalding), the third most populous, was located near the geographical center of the district. ≤ The district’s dominant economic interest was textiles, followed by farming and some light metal and food-processing industries.
For example, in support of his assertion that ‘‘I have taken unpopular stands and then swung them around to my way of thinking,’’ he cited a vote to uphold President Eisenhower’s veto of a public works bill. ’’ Similarly, Flynt asserted that ‘‘some members of the Georgia delegation vote against almost all appropriations bills. I vote against some, but I vote for a lot of them. ’’ His expertise as a member of the Appropriations Committee gave him a great deal of latitude in explaining spending decisions to the folks back home.
Congress at the Grassroots: Representational Change in the South, 1970-1998 by Richard F. Fenno