Are conservative policies the best way to achieve liberal ideals? Former Bush Administration official (and former liberal) David B. Cohen answers that provocative question in the affirmative in a thought-provoking book that is certain to spark debate. Left-Hearted, Right-Minded arrives just in time for the 2012 Presidential election season. And while the book is a great guide to help voters of all political persuasions think about the great issues that will be debated during the campaign, its relevance will last years into the future.
The book starts out as a political memoir with two protagonists: Liberal Dave, the person that the author was in his youth, and ConservaDave, the person the author ultimately became. Liberal Dave was a typical American kid--if by “typical” you mean a Jewish Samoan being raised by a single mother in an extended working class family.
The author takes us on an often amusing journey in which Liberal Dave, a staunch progressive with little tolerance for conservatives, eventually becomes a conservative himself--without abandoning the concerns and ideals he held as a liberal. We even get to listen in on an extended and sometimes heated debate between Liberal Dave and ConservaDave on a wide range of issues, including capitalism, Occupy Wall Street, Steve Jobs, taxing the rich, and much more.
The book then moves into an issue-by-issue demonstration of its central thesis: that conservative policies are indeed the best way to achieve liberal ideals. With chapters on education, health care, immigration, the environment, and foreign policy, Cohen outlines how conservative policies are the best way to protect the vulnerable, the disadvantaged, the oppressed--and the rest of us as well. In so doing, Cohen fleshes out a hopeful, youthful, idealistic and optimistic brand of conservatism that can appeal to open-minded people from all parts of the political spectrum.
Left-Hearted, Right-Minded has something for people of all political stripes:
For conservatives, the book demonstrates how to effectively communicate their ideas to those who do not yet share their beliefs--how to preach to the persuadable, and not just to the converted. More importantly, the book is a celebration of the idealism of conservatism--an idealism that the mainstream media and the purveyors of our popular culture seem oblivious to.
For independents, the book explains conservative principles in a way that they are most likely to respond to--free from the anger that sometimes creeps into books that conservatives write for other conservatives (or liberals write for other liberals).
For liberals, the book’s civil yet passionate tone is an invitation to a respectful and rational dialogue on the most important issues of our time.
“I’m not trying to argue with liberals, who are well represented among my dear friends and family,” said Cohen. “I’m trying to start a conversation. In the book, I try to support conservative policy positions using arguments that would have resonated with me when I was a liberal. I’m interested to see if these arguments resonate with today’s liberals. We’re about to make choices that will determine the course of our nation’s history in ways that may be virtually unalterable. It is essential that we have this conversation.”