cover image The Right Answer: How We Can Unify Our Divided Nation

The Right Answer: How We Can Unify Our Divided Nation

John Delaney. Holt, $26 (240p) ISBN 978-1-25029-496-8

Maryland Democratic Congressman Delaney’s summary of the reasons why he should become the next president of the United States is a stereotypical volume, containing the usual blend of biography (including shoutouts to his hardworking immigrant ancestors and his beloved wife), professional resume, and policy prescriptions. Although many voters would probably be sympathetic to Delaney’s overarching theme that progress on tough issues requires bipartisanship, he provides little reason to believe that the current atmosphere of hyper-partisanship could change soon and minimizes the split on major issues—it’s not accurate, for example, to say only that “some politicians continue to argue over whether to believe the overwhelming scientific consensus on” climate change when the Trump administration is avowedly skeptical on the topic and its EPA has removed resources for combating global warming from its website. Uncontroversial generalizations—for example, that the U.S. should remove red tape that is business-unfriendly but still keep meaningful regulation—and stock campaign phrases (“Let’s work together toward a common goal for the common good”) overwhelm Delaney’s impressive track record as a businessman and his refreshing approach to reaching across the aisle, which included one-on-one sit-downs with many colleagues to advocate for legislation. The result is a bland mix of largely uncontroversial points that goes out of its way, sometimes to the point of inaccuracy, to avoid offending anyone. (June)