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Posted September 7, 2012
Being somewhat familiar with the author (we're both involved wit
Being somewhat familiar with the author (we're both involved with the Republican party in our state, and I'm a regular reader of his blog) I opened this book knowing that there would be certain issues where we disagreed philosophically. Not on a majority of issues by any means, but we do have our ideological differences. However what I discovered was that we agreed on a lot more than I expected. That being said, the sections where we differ in opinion were for me the most intriguing parts of this book.
If you're a Republican looking for a way to discuss your viewpoints with friends and family on the other side of the political spectrum (without stirring up hard feelings), or if you're a Democrat honestly interested in understanding the reasoning behind conservative ideology, this book is for you. What you'll find is a very frank discussion of conservatism. What you won't find is the red-blooded liberal-bashing rhetoric all too common in today's political writing. The author has no intent of demeaning anyone. He doesn't insist that readers agree with him. His intent is only to get the reader to understand *why* he believes what he does. In doing so, he's able to humanize conservative thought in a way I, even as a lifelong Republican, have not seen before.
Republicans are often criticized as callous, selfish, and uncaring about others. It's clear in this book that the author (and many conservatives like him) cares deeply about our society and the people in it, and that his political beliefs are driven largely by that concern and compassion. That's important because the problem with today's political divisiveness isn't that the two sides don't agree on issues (they've always had differences and they always will). It's that they've lost any real understanding of the opposing viewpoint. Having that understanding and respect for different viewpoints is essential for finding common ground on any issue. If you're not a conservative, reading this book may not "convert" you, but you'll definitely come away from it with an appreciation for the reasoning behind the author's views.
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Posted August 14, 2012