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Blue Collar Conservatives: Recommitting to an America That Works Hardcover – April 28, 2014
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About the Author
Rick Santorum, a native of Pennsylvania, was a candidate for the Republican nomination for president of the United States in 2012 and became known as a voice for conservatives who didn't feel they were being represented. In June 2012 he launched Patriot Voices, a grassroots and online community of Americans committed to promoting faith, family, freedom, and opportunity. Prior to running for president, Santorum served in the House of Representatives from 1991 to 1995, and in the Senate from 1995 to 2007, where he was known as one of the most successful government reformers in our history. An accomplished author, Santorum penned the 2005 New York Times bestseller It Takes a Family. --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.
Top customer reviews
Every once in a while, a conservative or at least a center-right presidential candidate acts like he is going to make a serious play for the votes of workers. In 1992, Reform Party candidate Ross Perot briefly led a three-way contest with Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton and President Bush 41 as he discussed the "giant sucking sound" to our South of good U.S. jobs going to Mexico. I would have voted for Perot had he been Pro-Life. In 1996, Pat Buchanan stunned the Republican establishment with a victory over Senator Dole in the New Hampshire primary.
Buchanan had been speaking for New Hampshire workers who told him of how their good jobs had been shipped overseas. I remember eventual nominee Dole reading a seemingly hastily written statement the day after his New Hampshire defeat about many Americans feeling left out of the economy.
After Buchanan's runs, I can't remember any conservative at the presidential level making much of a play for working votes, until I heard Rick Santorum during the 2012 Republican primaries. Santorum won the Iowa Caucus and 11 contests in total, finishing second to eventual nominee Romney. No doubt with the release of this book last year and his rhetoric in the early stages of the 2016 Republican Presidential contest, Senator Santorum is making an even more aggressive play for the votes of working men and women than he did four years ago. But so far, he and the other candidates are being overshadowed by the force of personality of Donald Trump. Trump says he is going to make the country "great" again, bringing back our "manufacturing" jobs and standing up to China and others who want an uneven playing field.
Senator Santorum discusses manufacturing jobs in "Blue Collar Conservatives":
"If restoring the American Dream is our goal, restoring our manufacturing industry must be an essential part of the plan. ... [M]anufacturers face foreign competitors that operate under different rules and with different costs. Many foreign manufacturers enjoy government subsidies and weak environmental and labor laws. ... When it comes to competition, our government has a legitimate role in laying down laws that even the playing field. For much of our history, American manufacturing was protected by tariffs." (PP. 150, 151)
Some other quotes from the book that jump out at me include:
"The factory towns in western Pennsylvania that I represented in Congress in the early 1990s were filled with thousands of families like the Harrisons. Those people have been forced into lower-paying service jobs, or they have to make the long commute to Pittsburgh for work. Nearly nine million jobs have been lost since the beginning of the Great Recession." (P.146)
"The economic policies of the Left not only are harming the poor, the low-skilled worker, and the entrepreneur, but as we all know they are hitting our pocketbook every day through the insidious creep of rising prices." (P.173)
"Blue collar conservatives across this country are faithful to a vision that has always defined America but that has been obscured in recent years. ... We Republicans must show the unemployed, the underemployed, and the struggling worker that we are on their side and want their support. We cannot forget the blue collar conservatives who are the backbone of this country. We have an obligation to restore the American Dream for them and their families. And until we internalize this as a party, we will continue to lose national elections." (PP. 184; 8)
As the establishments of both Parties continue to put globalism (globaloney) ahead of America, the American people will continue to hunger for someone who speaks for the little guy, overlooked and largely ignored.
November 18, 2016 - Prophetic? The final quote which begins "Blue collar conservatives" was proven true in last week's surprising Trump victory over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Election. Trump made a concentrated effort to appeal to workers who have lost good jobs to deals like NAFTA in the past few decades and the result was Republican victories in states they haven't won in decades including Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin (along with Ohio for the first time since 2004)>
Coming in at just under 200 pages in length, this book is written in a clear and concise way that is easy to understand. It is filled with anecdotes from Senator Santorum's 2012 presidential campaign and his subsequent travel around the country. There are numerous stories of families who are struggling through no fault of their own; rather, they've been left behind by politicians more interested in gaining and keeping power and influence for themselves and their donors. Their businesses have been shuttered, their jobs have been shipped abroad, and their futures are crumbling before their eyes.
Senator Santorum stresses the importance of family---the first society and economy---and faith in America and the roles they must play if we are to restore the American Dream for all once again. Aside from family and faith, Santorum focuses on educational reform and school choice, taking advantage of the fracking revolution, reforming Social Security and Medicare, cutting taxes and regulations, and promoting work over government dependency. Those are some solutions that we should all be able to agree on, but sadly, those on the far left of the political spectrum will continue to advocate for a bigger, more intrusive government, higher taxes and regulations, less faith in the public sphere, and policies that will lead to further erosion of traditional family and moral values.
I enjoyed reading this book, and I highly recommend it for all!