Keeping the Republic: Saving America by Trusting Americans

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Upon leaving the Constitutional Convention, Benjamin Franklin was asked what sort of government the delegates had created. His reply to the crowd: "A republic, if you can keep it." Now America's most respected governor explains just how close we've come to losing the republic, and how we can restore it to greatness.

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels has been called "the most presidential man in America." He has brought more change to his state in ...

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Overview

Upon leaving the Constitutional Convention, Benjamin Franklin was asked what sort of government the delegates had created. His reply to the crowd: "A republic, if you can keep it." Now America's most respected governor explains just how close we've come to losing the republic, and how we can restore it to greatness.

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels has been called "the most presidential man in America." He has brought more change to his state in a few years than most see in decades.

During his tenure, Daniels turned a $700 million deficit into a billion dollar surplus, balanced Indiana's budget even during the recession, converted its once unattractive business climate into one of the strongest for private sector job growth.

The Hoosier state is now a model of good and efficient governance. Its public sector payroll is now the smallest per capita in the nation. And yet services have improved across the board. Even its Bureau of Motor Vehicles -- the ultimate symbol of dysfunctional bureaucracy - has been rated the best in the country.

Daniels has done this by focusing on government's core responsibilities, cutting taxes, empowering citizens, and performing what he calls an "old tribal ritual" - spending less money than his state takes in, while distinguishing between skepticism towards big government and hostility towards all government.

Unfortunately few politicians have the discipline or courage to follow his lead. And worse, many assume that Americans are too intimidated, gullible or dim-witted to make wise decisions about their health care, mortgages, the education of their kids, and other important issues. The result has been a steady decline in freedom, as elite government experts -- "our benevolent betters", in Daniels' phrase -- try to regulate every aspect of our lives.

Daniels bluntly calls our exploding national debt "a survival-level threat to the America we have known." He shows how our underperforming public schools have produced a workforce unprepared to compete with those of other countries and ignorant of the requirements of citizenship in a free society. He lays out the risk of greatly diminished long term prosperity and the loss of our position of world leadership. He warns that we may lose the uniquely American promise of upward mobility for all.

But, the good news is that it's not too late to save America. However, real change can't be imposed from above. It has to be what he calls "change that believes in you" -- a belief that Americans, properly informed of the facts, will pull together to make the necessary changes and that they are best- equipped to make the decisions governing their own lives. As he puts it:

"I urge great care not to drift into a loss of faith in the American people. We must never yield to the self-fulfilling despair that these problems are immutable, or insurmountable. Americans are still a people born to liberty. Addressed as free-born, autonomous men and women of God-given dignity, they will rise yet again to drive back a mortal enemy."

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Editorial Reviews

Speaker of the House John Boehner

"Governor Daniels has emerged as one of our nation''s leading voices for reform and common sense in government."

-Speaker of the House John Boehner

"Governor Daniels has emerged as one of our nation's leading voices for reform and common sense in government."
-David S. Broder

"The onetime Reagan White House political director and Bush White House budget chief is not your run-of-the-mill intellectual. His style is to be down- home, but his record of accomplishment is dazzling."
-New Jersey Governor Chris Christie

"He's one of the brightest governors in America."
-Joe Klein

"[Daniels is] the rare politician telling it like it is...I would pay cash money to watch him debate Obama on these issues, and I suspect the Republic would be much the better for it."
-Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush

"Mitch is the only one who sees the stark perils and will offer real detailed proposals...He would be the anti-Obama.
-Steven Pearlstein

"A principled but practical conservative who respects the intelligence of voters and would rather get something done than score political points."
-The Economist

"He does not tweet...But he is good at one thing in particular: governing."
Kirkus Reviews
Indiana's governor delivers his vision for saving America. Gov. Daniels, a darling of the Republican Party, proves his stripes as a faithful conservative by setting forth a small-government, pro-business agenda to address the country's current economic woes. While the author touches briefly on an array of hot-button political issues (health care, national security, foreign policy), "[t]he enemy is real and imminent. It is the debt we have accumulated." Rather than wage a full-scale rhetorical assault on the Obama administration, Daniels prefers the nuanced sneak attack, painting the president as an anti–private-sector politician with an "extreme agenda of expanding federal domination over the private economy." Instead of relying on the federal government, Daniels tells Americans they should remain invested in their own futures. On a smaller scale, the governor also takes issue with the nation's educational curricula--in particular, the high-school civics classroom. "It would be bad enough if today's students were merely left unaware of the greatness and superiority of the free institutions American has brought to the world," he writes. "In reality, they are more often taught the converse: that we are a deeply flawed nation." Yet for the remainder of the book Daniels picks at these very flaws, ostensibly in the hopes of seeking practical solutions. Perhaps the author's most important contribution stems not from policymaking, but political philosophy. Fully cognizant of the dire economic problems with which the country is faced, Daniels calls upon politicians to seek a temporary truce on social issues until overcoming the financial hurdles. "If America goes broke," he writes, "suffering will come to gays and straights, men and women, pro-life and pro-choice advocates, and to people of all races"--a politic answer that leaves him poised for a future run at higher office. A carefully argued political treatise, but one of many similar books during these contentious political times.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781595230805
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/20/2011
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Mitch Daniels

Mitch Daniels was elected Governor of Indiana in 2004 and re- elected in 2008. He was previously the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (a cabinet-level position) under President George W. Bush and a senior aide to President Ronald Reagan. He also spent many years in the private sector as a senior executive at Eli Lilly and Company and the CEO of one of the nation's most influential research centers, the Hudson Institute. He and his wife Cheri have four daughters and live in Indianapolis.
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Table of Contents

Foreword George F. Will ix

Introduction 1

1 The Skeptics 7

2 The Red Menace 16

3 The Great Inversion 36

4 The Shrunken Citizen 63

5 The Obamacare Steamroller 85

6 Taking on the Statist Quo 103

7 The Road Back 130

8 Our "Raison Debt" 150

9 Can We Talk? 169

10 Change That Believes in You 195

Epilogue 234

Acknowledgments 243

Notes 244

Selected Reading 249

Index 251

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 13 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    how to keep your republic strong

    "keeping the republic strong" is very hard to put down. this is a very fasinating book governor mitch danials shares in his memoir how he was able to take hold of his states 700 million dollor deficit and using sound bussiness principles and money matters was able to not only bring this under control but was also able to bring his state a very nice surplus. this lawmaker also shares how he grew up with hard work and how it made a great impact on his life and how he finds our national debt to be out of control and if we use some of the conservative bussiness principles that he used in his state the debt can be controled. great gift idea for a friend or family member.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 23, 2011

    Ignore the partisan jabs, let's talk about these proposals

    Because Gov. Daniels declined to run for President, I had hoped his book would be the work of a statesman and technocrat. I was disappointed that it seemed so much a campaign book, perhaps half partisan, one-fourth statesman, one-fourth technocrat. The book's major theme is the urgency of dealing responsibly with our growing national debt, and that limited government is key to keeping our republic (a reference to a Benjamin Franklin quotation). Citizens need to be empowered and trusted to take personal responsibility. Those parts of the book are somewhat enlightening and encouraging. But the satirical jabs about a supposedly paternalistic, elitist left grow wearisome. (I read somewhere that Daniels stated since publication that he didn't intend to come across that way.) A more serious weakness is that his selectivity with facts in presenting his case compromises its credibility. For example, there was little or no explanation of how his role in the latter Bush Administration's fiscal policies--including gimmicks like keeping war spending off-budget through annual emergency appropriations requests--contributed to the fiscal crisis we face today. Nevertheless, unlike most politicians these days, Daniels proposes serious and realistic policies to deal with our urgent fiscal crisis, and he's not rigid about the details. His book is worth reading and taking seriously. Let citizens awake, and statesmen unite.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2012

    From a Hoosiers pont of view

    You won't catch me reading this book. I am a Hoosier and this person has done NOTHING for us. What I read in the preview is lies, lies and more lies. Now, I will admit he has done a LOT for Indiana, but not anything that is good. Too many people on the streets here, homeless, jobless... need I say more? I recommend if you MUST read this book get it from the library, because no funds should be going to this crook. I rest my case.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 27, 2011

    Would recommend highly !

    What Gov. Daniels accomplished should be a blueprint for virtually everyone running for office. Most importantly, his overriding concern for the citizens of his State and willingness to take on the entrenched bureaucracies and obstacles to do the right thing in spite of the potential political consequences to himself shows how different a politician he actually is. How he adddressed the staff of his States Dept of Environmental Protection is inspirational, and reason enough to buy the book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2011

    highly recommended.

    this is a wonderful book written by a wonderful man. I came away greatly impressed by his honesty and simplicity.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 21, 2011

    Highly Recommended

    A great outline of the way things could be at the national level with the right leadership.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2011

    Recommend if you appreciate history.

    Persuasive. Concise.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted February 16, 2012

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