Most helpful critical review
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Compassionate and Cautious Conservatism
on March 24, 2005
Newt Gingrich is, in the best meaning of the phrase, an archetypical neo-conservative. He loves his country, has a deep respect for law and order, admires the military, and truly believes that his country is a force for good in the world. In those respects, I agree with him whole-heartedly. This book is essentially Newt Gingrich's solutions for the most pressing issues facing our nation today: health-care, immigration, the staggering failure of our education system, and trade imbalances. Again, regarding the problems in our country, I must agree with the author.
Where Mr. Gingrich and I disagree, and most strongly conservative readers will probably feel the same, is in the solution to these issues. For every ill faced by our society, the author's inevitable answer is more government oversight and control. He typifies what many on the right have been saying for years: that neo-conservatives are essentially patriotic socialists. Whether the problem is the lack of patriotism in immigrants, incredibly out-of-touch judicial decisions, Social Security, or any number of things; his response is to call a committee, write some laws, and have more federal intervention. That the solution to the constant degradation and perversion of our society and culture, caused primarily by such government intervention, can be solved by more laws and committees seems to me an incredible flaw in the author's logic. Neo-conservatives, and practically all baby boomers not living in Manhatten or San Francisco, will agree with almost everything he says.
That being said, no one can dispute the author's obvious love of country, his true desire to compromise to move our country in a more positive direction, or his compassionate view of the less fortunate in our society. Don't let the more vitriolic 1-star reviews fool you into thinking that Newt Gingrich is some angry, bible-thumping fundamentalist. He's really not, and it frankly makes me question whether or not these reviewers even read the book. You can argue with his solutions if you wish, but you simply cannot impugn the intentions of this man. If there is a more genuine, good-spirited, honest person at this level of power in our country, I'd like to see them.
Basically, this is a great book to understand the fundamental beliefs of the neo-conservative movement in United States politics. Any student of government would be well served in reading it to understand how the majority of Republican politicians think. Unfortunately for those of us on the far right, who truly want limited government, strong defense, free trade, and closed borders, our voice in the wilderness has not yet appeared.