The novel Primary Colors: Book Review

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The Book "Primary Colors"

The novel Primary Colors was composed by a witty writer who was capable of stealing information from the people in the political class to warn society about the truths of politics, particularly in America. The novel holds an intelligently composed story that refines the ruthless side of politics. The book refines the tale of the 1992 United States elections precisely as it occurred (Sokhey et al., 762). Society might not realize the politicians' purposes, and it is solely the insiders who knew the plan right from the start to the result. Most politicians represent the positive persona when in public and do the contrary in their individual lives. Every character in the book is drawn from the real life and the author does everything to make sure that the public miss the connections from the actual life. Bill Clinton is perceived as a Governor and not as the presidential candidate while Hillary Clinton is named Susan to confuse the readers from the actual story. The book focuses on the political conspiracies surrounding the major political leaders, right from 1992 to the current political systems. There are numerous lessons that can be learned from the plot, the characters involved and the political language used in the literature.

Lessons Learnt From the Book

The political class has numerous dirty things to hide from the public. The book exposes the sex scandals that constituted the 1992 Democratic campaigns that went unnoticed from the public perspective (Klein, 36). In many instances, every politician has a negative side to hide and the ravage can only be achieved in a cleverly way that no ordinary person will be able to understand. It is always a secret fight that only the people within the inner cycle understand. The dirty actions taken by the politicians are usually critical are exposing them may ruin the political status of many individuals involved.

Politics is a game that is hard to play by the ordinary people; it is a culture where an individual has to adopt the tricks and realities that are beyond the normal perception of the common people (Klein, 49). From the book, the characters apply the uncommon wisdom that both protect them from the public platform and from the inner cycles. The above scenario is evident when Burton, a completely inexperienced character came to realize how the game is played and in the process, he came to understand that public interest is just but part of the political game. Burton came to realize that in politics, the participant's peak in their own language and they tend to understand their own actions and ways of life.

From the book, it is clear that amassing power is the only way to get things done. Susan Stanton and Jack are perceived as Dogpatch pretenders whose aim is to obtain power in order to divert people's attention from the scandals (Klein, 79). There are many politicians across the world who usually use the political platforms to cover themselves from the sins they have committed, from drug trafficking to genocides, to assassinations. The actions portrayed by the above two characters clearly indicates that their pragmatic move is a proof that their attempts at achieving something are a charade of obtaining power (Yioutas, et al., 471).

Most people go to the leadership positions to protect their image through acquiring support from the voters. Communicating the policies to the public during campaigns is a way of consoling the public from the negative perception that they have towards certain acts (Klein, 81). Through talking to the public, the politicians are able to turn off the negative realities that they truly possess. Protecting the relationship is also an essential step when in the leadership position. From the book, the couples i.e. Jack and Susan Stanton are able to tolerate each other even during the times in their relationship; they are able to deal with the issue from the public domain (Eastwood and Gregory, 174).

The couple loyalty is essential in the political arena. Being loyal to one partner is necessary for accomplishing the good will and dreams of the country (Klein, 89). It is also necessary for the politicians to protect their families from the relationship feuds that may disrupt the relationship status. Couples in stable relationships have the ability to guide the country in the right direction (Graber et al. 24).

How the Book Is Connected To the American Government and the Constitution

The Primary Colors describes the integrity in leadership as stipulated in the American constitution. It clearly elaborates the integrity issues required for leadership in the United States of America. The book stipulates the power of the president and the entire government as stated in the constitution, it stresses on the responsibilities of the office of the president and what is expected to stand for in a bid to serve the entire public (Koppel et al., 21). The book also elaborates the power of the executive and the entire American government in the fight for the American culture and all the activities that pertain to the safeguarding the public from negative cultural behaviors, a situation that is also well stipulated in the constitution. From the book, the writer tries to mention the structure of the government; the presidential aide and the position of the first lady are some of the governmental offices brought out in the book (Norpoth and Helmut, 47). Being an insider, the author understands the governmental activities carried out in different departments of the white house and the government. The US political campaigns are also brought out in the book. The author tries to break down the formation of the government from the political campaigns (Kam, 333).

The courts, the president, and the Congress should be keen on monitoring the integrity issues that surrounds the presidency. The Congress should be keen on passing laws that can safeguard the governmental offices from the abuse. The abuse of public offices is not allowed in the constitution and therefore Courts should prosecute the governmental officials that are continuously violating the public offices (Basinger and Scott, 387). Since the Congress and the court have the role of monitoring the executive, they should provide check and balances to ensure the above scenario is not repeated again. The office of the president should remain to be one with the highest integrity. The main problem that is facing the United States government according to the book, Primary Colors, is the integrity issues. According to the above book, sex scandals dominated the 1992 campaigns, a situation that required the intervention of different branches of the government (Doherty et al., 361). The abuse of office as attributed by the actions of putting personal interest at the expense of the public interest is another integrity issue portrayed by the political election of 1992 (Barnes et al., 366). The political propaganda is another problem that is facing the United States government. Most of the politicians have the tendency spreading the propaganda for their own political advantage. According to the book, most of the presidential candidates also have the tendency of spreading propaganda to paint their opponents as the people that electorates should run away from (McDermott, et al., 961). Lack of respect among the leaders is another problem that is facing the United States government. During the political campaigns, most leaders have the tendency of attacking their opponents through utterances that may derail the public confidence in the governance system (Messner and Michael, 471). America is a great nation that should be zero tolerant to integrity issues. The courts and the Congress should ensure that the elected leaders are of high integrity.

The dirty side of the United States politics as portrayed in the book is a reality.

Most of the citizens cannot get access to the information in the government and the writer clearly reveals that secrets that have not been experienced in the public domain. The argument in this book is about the dirty politics that took center stage in the 1992 election (Owen and Diana, 168). The book exposes a penetrating and a brilliant look at the factors of modern American politics. The Primary Colors is a brilliantly written story with the characters resembling the well-known figures in politics that still exist to date (Adut and Ari, 43). The book stipulates the power of the president and the entire government as stated in the constitution, it stresses on the responsibilities of the office of the president and what is expected to stand for in a bid to serve the entire public. The reason behind the above argument stems from the sex scandal that dominated the 1992 democratic politics, a situation that led to the suspicion in the elected leaders.

Works Cited

Adut, Ari. On scandal: moral disturbances in society, politics, and art. Vol. 31. Structural Analysis in the Soc, 2008.

Barnes, Tiffany D., and Emily Beaulieu. "Gender Stereotypes and Corruption: How Candidates Affect Perceptions of Election Fraud." Politics & Gender 10.3 (2014): 365.

Basinger, Scott J. "Scandals and congressional elections in the post-Watergate era." Political Research Quarterly 66.2 (2013): 385-398.

Doherty, David, Conor M. Dowling, and Michael G. Miller. "Does time heal all wounds? Sex scandals, tax evasion, and the passage of time." PS: Political Science and Politics 47.2 (2014): 357-66.

Eastwood, Gregory L. "How literature informs notions of leadership." Volume 9, Number 1_x0096_Winter 2010 (2010): 173.

Graber, Doris A., and Johanna Dunaway. Mass media and American politics. Cq Press, 2014.

Kam, Cindy D., and Donald R. Kinder. "Ethnocentrism as a short‐term force in the 2008 American presidential election." American Journal of Political Science 56.2 (2012): 326-340.

Klein, Joe. Primary colors: a novel of politics. Random House Incorporated, 2006.

Koppel, Moshe, Jonathan Schler, and Kfir Zigdon. "Automatically determining an anonymous author_x0092_s native language." International Conference on Intelligence and Security Informatics. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2005.

McDermott, Monika L., Douglas Schwartz, and Sebastian Vallejo. "Talking the talk but not walking the walk: public reactions to hypocrisy in political scandal." American Politics Research 43.6 (2015): 952-974.

Messner, Michael A. "The masculinity of the governator: Muscle and compassion in American politics." Gender & Society 21.4 (2007): 461-480.

Norpoth, Helmut. "Primary colors: A mixed blessing for Al Gore." Political Science & Politics 34.01 (2001): 45-48.

Owen, Diana. "Popular politics and the Clinton/Lewinsky affair: The implications for leadership." Political Psychology (2000): 161-177.

Sokhey, Anand Edward, and Scott D. McClurg. "Social networks and correct voting." The Journal of Politics 74.3 (2012): 751-764.

Yioutas, Julie, and Ivana Segvic. "Revisiting the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal: The convergence of agenda setting and framing." Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly 80.3 (2003): 567-582.

October 25, 2022



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