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Bringing America Home Hardcover – March 1, 2010
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*Starred Review* As a college freshman, Pauken read Barry Goldwater’s Conscience of a Conservative, which he quotes admiringly. His book emulates Goldwater’s in a time in which, as they did then, conservative fortunes ebb low. A successful businessman, former Texas Republican Party chairman, and present state commissioner, he’s a more seasoned person now than Goldwater was then, and he writes more thoughtfully and personably than Goldwater (but then, he does it himself; Conscience was ghosted). He believes current conservative woes stem from Reagan’s trusting placement of Bush I and his faction in powerful positions in his administration, from which they rooted out conservatives and installed the erstwhile left-liberal Democrats who had become neoconservatives. The rest is dismal history. Conservatism’s future lies in a program of shrinking centralized government via constitutional checks and balances as well as drastic foreign and domestic policy change. Specifics include fighting radical Islam through alliances and diplomacy rather than military intervention, shifting the basis of federal taxation from income to imports, reasserting local and state control of education, rebuilding manufacturing and its workforce, preferring small business and entrepreneurship over big business (especially the banking-investment cartel), readmitting religion to the public square, and that old conservative mainstay, reducing government spending. A conservative manifesto of the highest caliber—humane, civilized, expressed by an active, living conscience. --Ray Olson
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Some Muslims and Muslim groups may be militant, but that is not the same thing as "Militant Islam". These Muslims and Muslim groups have different grievances (many justified), different goals, and they are not united.
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union former Defense Secretary McNamara, in his 1989 testimony before the Senate Budget Committee, stated that defense spending could safely be cut in half over five years. For the Pentagon it was a simple choice: either find new enemies, or cut defense spending.
It became a choice between the Green Peril or the Yellow Peril -- Islam or China ("The Green Peril: Creating the Islamic Fundamentalist Threat," Cato Institute, August 27, 1992). Successive presidents chose to define that threat as Islamic fundamentalism (an oxymoron like militant Islam), rogue states and nuclear outlaws, axis of evil, war on terror, etc.
In Who Speaks for Islam?, a product of the Gallup World Poll's massive research, authors John L. Esposito and Dalia Mogahed find that Muslims around the world want basically what Americans want. They reject terrorism, they admire the West for its technology and democracy. What they least admire about the West is its perceived moral decay and breakdown of traditional values. They criticize or celebrate countries based on their politics, not based on their culture or religion.
And Islamic civilization is not mounting an assault on either America or Europe -- it's been here for a long time.
In his October 27,1993 speech titled 'Islam and the West,' HRH The Prince of Wales stated: "Not only did Muslim Spain gather and preserve the intellectual content of ancient Greek and Roman civilisation, it also interpreted and expanded upon that civilization, and made a vital contribution of its own in so many fields of human endeavour - in science, astronomy, mathematics, algebra (itself an Arabic word), law, history, medicine, pharmacology, optics, agriculture, architecture, theology, music.
"The surprise, ladies and gentlemen is the extent to which Islam has been a part of Europe for so long, first in Spain, then in the Balkans, and the extent to which it has contributed so much towards the civilization which we all too often think of, wrongly, as entirely Western. Islam is part of our past and our present, in all fields of human endeavour. It has helped to create modern Europe. It is part of our own inheritance, not a thing apart."
The real treat is the military-industrial complex that we were warned about by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and in more colorful fashion, in his 1933 speech, by General Smedley Darlington Butler -- recipient of two Congressional Medals of Honor.
Mr. Hauken's repetition of the Islamic threat, that for two decades has served to justify America's recent wars, makes bringing "Bringing America Home" (presumably his goal) more difficult to achieve.
Bringing America Home begins by recognizing that the American people fully understand the dangers to the health of our nation posed by Washington's big-spending, big government explosion which he traces back to the years of the post-Reagan presidency. Pauken is particularly concerned that extraordinary and undisciplined spending by the federal government during our current economic dilemma could lead to an all-out economic implosion for America.
Tom Pauken, for four decades, has been both a conservative and an activist. He served as a military intelligence officer in Viet Nam. He was called "an outmoded Cold Warrior" by the communist propaganda newspaper Izvestia. He worked in the Reagan White House. He served on that Administration's leadership team for First Lady Nancy Reagan's "Just Say, "No!" campaign against illegal drug use. He headed the federal agency now known as Americorps when it was called ACTION during the latter years of the Reagan Administration, and its stated mission was getting American youth trained for and placed in stable jobs. Pauken says in his book that in reality, the agency had devolved into little more than the primary funding source for what he termed, "poverty pimps."
After he reduced the size of his agency and cut funding for politically motivated community organizers, Pauken came home to Texas where he was elected to head the Texas Republican Party as its chairman during the Governorship of George W. Bush. Today he chairs, the Texas Workforce Commission at the behest of Governor Rick Perry who appointed him to the post.
In addition to his continuing service within Texas government, Tom Pauken still stands as one who is respected in political circles as a stalwart champion of conservative principles, and as an influential and articulate voice of conservative activists in Texas and within the national dialog. His new book, Bringing America Home is subtitled How America Lost Her Way and How We Can Find Our Way Back.
It is not a treatise on employment policy for the state, but rather Pauken's challenge to conservatives for self examination. It is not a personal manifesto, but rather an offering of his understanding of foundational conservative issues, along with his reasons explaining how and why the policies of those once elected to high office as conservatives have yielded a reality inconsistent with the conservative principles of Ronald Reagan.
Pauken cites policies of the Clinton, G.H.W. Bush , G.W. Bush, and Obama administrations which have led to growing and unsustainable deficits in the federal budget and in foreign trade, continuing involvement of American troops abroad where the nation's security interests are murky, and the loss of faith of the American people in elected officials who have professed conservative platitudes while presiding over rising taxes and the inexorable growth of big government at the expense of the middle class and the private sector. His conclusion is that "conservatives", including both Democrats and Republicans, abandoned the clear principles of conservative thought which created the conservative movement which helped elect Ronald Reagan as President in 1980. Instead of building on that foundation, self-described conservatives surrenderd our principles, squandered his legacy, adopted the politics and policies which have put our way of life at risk.
His prescription for America's healing is simple and clear: return to those principles; and, govern by them. Buy Pauken's book. Read it, then, give it to someone you care about.
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Pauken makes the case for a traditional conservatism based on traditional values, economic patriotism, and a...Read more