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Completing the Revolution: A Vision for Victory in 2000 Hardcover – January 17, 2000
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
Robert D. Novak is perhaps the most widely seen conservative commentator in the United States, appearing regularly on three separate CNN "talking heads" programs as well as writing the syndicated "Inside Report" column. So when he puts forth his opinion on the Republican Party's chances for success in the 2000 elections, every member of the GOP--and more than a few of their ideological adversaries--will hear him out carefully.
Having failed to achieve their goals after seizing both houses of Congress in the 1994 "Republican Revolution," Novak writes in Completing the Revolution, the GOP has been reduced to trying to counter the spin from Bill Clinton's White House. "The Republican Congress should have been courageously advancing the Republican agenda and should not have been afraid of it," he argues. "But they're not playing to win; they're playing not to lose." Whereas most analysts view Clinton's "triangulation" as shifting the Democrats' platform to the right, Novak believes that it has really enabled the White House to maneuver Republican members of Congress into voting for leftist legislation. Only by regaining control of the White House, he continues, will the GOP be able to advance its agenda.
Novak has 10 very clear ideas about how to take back the Oval Office, ranging from the obvious (radically simplify the tax code, stand firm on the anti-abortion platform) to the unusual (not only is Novak in favor of term limits, he suggests nearly quintupling the size of the House of Representatives to 2,000 members and cutting their annual salary down to about $27,000. He argues this would prevent the entrenched careerism that plagues Congress today). After outlining his strategy, Novak does a quick sketch of George W. Bush, the man the Republicans appear to have anointed as their candidate in 2000. Will he win? Only, Novak suggests, if he and his party have the courage to stick by what the Republican Party really stands for--and if they run to gain political ground, not merely hang on to what they've got. Completing the Revolution offers a compelling argument sure to get heavy play as GOP leadership figures out its game plan for the 21st century. --Ron Hogan
From Publishers Weekly
Novak strives for an ideological extreme that few but political pundits could embrace. The well-known columnist and television commentator identifies himself as "a conservative who has been on a steady trip to the right" and the Republican Party as the only available vehicle to pursue his agenda. Naturally, he approves when the party veers to the right and is critical of moderate tendencies. After excoriating perceived retreats from the Gingrich agenda of 1994, Novak lays out his prescription for conservative purity and victory with supreme confidence that the former will lead to the latter. Key points include cutting taxes and replacing the income tax with a sales tax, privatizing Social Security, considering campaign finance reform, embracing global free markets and religious conservatives, affirming the right to life, reaching out to women and minorities without compromising policy positions, pursuing a strong foreign policy and term limits. Although Novak believes that capturing the presidency is crucial, his discussion of the upcoming nomination is restrained. He recognizes that George W. Bush meets certain criteria, but he does not look too closely (perhaps to avoid glimpsing that Bush is a pragmatic rather than ideological conservative). The normally highly opinionated Novak suggests only that a Bush nomination would be a "gamble" that may or may not pay off. Despite the tension between Novak's policy rhetoric and his lukewarm endorsement of Bush, his fans will enjoy what is otherwise a strident performance.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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While Mr. Novak produces a detailed 10-step plan for capturing the White House and keeping the Congress in the 2000 elections, the main theme is, as indicated above, Republicans must stand firm on their principles. This book is the cure for "conventional wisdom" which suggests that GOP must become moderate and move to the middle to win. The truth is that the greatest GOP victories came when the Party delivered a staunchly conservative message in 1980 and 1994.
This book is a great read and I'd highly recommend it - even for the liberal readers, who may want to take a peek at the enemy's battle plan.
Great book to have, a must read for anybody interested in why Repulicans do what they do.
Back to the book review, Mr. Novak puts forth the conjecture that when the right buys the distortion of the left that the only way it will win elections is to become more centrist in nature, they are in effect destroying the core of the philosophical ideals of the right. Remember, the left over the years has slid farther and farther into the deadly grips of socialism until ideas that were consider middle of the road 20 years ago are now re-characterized as extreme right wing today. The democrats continually try to paint the conservatives as radicals when in reality it is the democrats that have slid into an ultra liberal position and it is they who have become the radicals. What is amazing is that the Republicans have bought into the lie and feel that they must become more middle of the road. So in essence we no longer have two distinct political parties anymore, instead we have Socialist Party A and Socialist Party B. Or in other terms the Republicrats and the Demicans. It is because of this shift to the left that myself and quite a few others that I know have changed party affiliation.
Mr. Novak is aware of this problem and has put forward ten ideas that if the Republican Party embraced they would begin to win elections again. Not only would they win elections they would see a renewal of zeal similar to the Reagan revolution. The ten postulates are as follows:
1 Use the budget surplus to cut taxes for everyone.
This is probably the biggest no brainer on the list. Lower taxes mean less government (socialistic) programs for the masses. Less government means less intrusion and fewer bureaucrats, fewer bureaucrats mean more productivity and wealth for everyone.
2 Endorse a national sales tax to replace the internal revenue code.
In fact I disagree with the national sales tax, but the point is to scrap the IRS code as it is now and replace it with something incredibly simpler. Again, less chance for the government to get you money means less chance that the government will have control over you.
3 Establish true personal accounts for Social Security.
Social security is here to stay, so why not let it work for you rather than against you. Let's all retire wealthier and with less government intrusion into how I handle MY money.
4 Stop reflexively opposing campaign finance reform.
Both parties have become prostitutes of the moneyed interest that has gotten them elected. If we would come up with a sweeping reform and couple it with idea number 10 it would be a boon for both parties.
5 Embrace Global Free Markets.
Although I believe in free markets theory it only works if both participants allow equal access to their respective markets. This is great in theory but in real life it does not always work.
6 Welcome the religious conservatives as force for good.
The religious right - the liberals have done such a fantastic job at brainwashing the masses into believing that the moral majority and their ilk would turn this county into a totalitarian theocratic form of government. Interesting though, the religious right has no such plans. If you still feel queasy about this notion I highly suggest you read a book by Don Feder, yes he's Jewish, entitled Who's Afraid of the Religious Right?
7 Stand firm in support of the right to life.
This is probably the bedrock principal of the Conservative movement. The Conservative Party has always been the party to look out for the most unfortunate and most in need of the society. While socialists will either discard or destroy human beings that don't fit their agenda it has been the conservatives of the world who have ended slavery and put racism behind us. It has always been the noble pursuit of caring for the handicapped through philanthropy and strong families that has shown the main difference between the left and the right. How can anybody with half a brain that is firing its synapses claim they are a pro-choice conservative. People a choice is between Coke or Pepsi, when you can summarily destroy a human being because it might be inconvenient after YOU MADE ALL THE CHOICES to procreate in the first place. By not standing up for human beings who in their weakest most dependent stage of life shows such utter contempt for our race and for the conservative cause that these individuals should join their true party. The party of Hitler, Lenin and Stalin.
8 Reach out to Women and Minorities without compromising the message.
Lets give credit where credit is due, the leftist have always won the propaganda war. The reason the right has morals and believes in the principal of the truth. With that said it sure wouldn't hurt to go after some good PR work and include the people who have been most helped by the philosophies of the right.
And the last two ideas are
9. Endorse a foreign policy based on strength and engagement, but for the right reasons.
10 Don't be afraid of term limits.
I'm out of space enjoy the book.
But to oversimplify things as I just did is to do Mr. Novak an injustice. Mr. Novak knows his stuff and is a persuasive arguer. His strong, articulate writing style shines through throughout his tome. So does his experience in politics and Washington. When you read this book, even if you disagree with it, you feel confident knowing that Mr. Novak is an expert in the ways of Washington, his sources are strong, and his knowledge base is beyond expansive. Beyond that, he is also an interesting writer - it was difficult to put this book down at times.
Possibly the strongest compliment I can give this book is that I found myself having to stop and think about Mr. Novak's arguments several times, although it seemed I have heard them expressed (far less articulately and convincingly) before. And although I did not leave Mr. Novak's book convinced he was correct - I DID leave the book convinced that I would not want to go up against him in a debate, and that he would be a fascinating person to be able to sit down and have a dinner with. END