As a book reviewer, I try to be as objective as possible. But I must admit, my emotions got the better of me when reading this particularly moving and empowering book. As a liberal, I never felt more proud to be who I am and believe in what I believe in. Robert B. Reich has given liberals and progressives and Democrats and Greens cause for celebration in his powerful, highly researched and optimistic book, Reason: Why Liberals Will Win the Battle for America.
Reich is a University Professor of Social and Economic Policy at Brandeis’s Heller Graduate School, as well as a former secretary of labor under Clinton and a widely published and respected writer for The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. In this provocative book, he outlines the many ways the right-wing conservative assault on American liberties and values has undermined true democracy, and how liberals and progressives can empower themselves to take back America and once again make our government for the people, of the people, by the people.
Using plenty of documented facts and figures, he takes apart the lies and deceptions of the current Bush administration, then offers hope and workable ideas for progressive thinkers who care about others and want to make America a place to be proud of; a place worthy of respect and honor. He also details, using the most respected opinion polls, how the radical conservative agenda ("Radcon", as he terms it) does NOT represent the majority in America, and how a real minority of religious and political extremists have taken over our government and hijacked democracy.
What the author emphasizes for progressives and liberals eager to restore true democracy is a platform that brings all factions of the left and center together under one common goal. He also gives great advice for taking back patriotism from the right wing, and for allowing liberals to feel good about their strengths and beliefs, despite the growing anti-liberal sentiment in the media. Best of all, Reich responds to the accusations from the right with truth, honesty and facts, something the right wing seems to turn away from every chance they get, giving progressives a way to defend themselves against idiotic accusations of being “communist” or “red".
The bold plan Reich suggests for the left to overcome the scared-stupid media and a government resistant to helping its own people succeed is something all those who stand a little left of center can grab onto. Unless progressives and liberals get together and combine their strengths and talents, the right wing will continue to get us into pre-emptive wars, decieve the public, destroy the economy and make the gap between rich and poor insurmountable. Is this the America our forefathers, many of whom were staunch liberals, wanted? Reich doesn’t think so, and neither do I.
Whether you are right, left or center, this book is filled with facts that will anger you and statistics that will enrage you. For the crux of this book is this: unless you are incredibly rich and powerful, which most of us are not, this current administration does not give a damn about you and your family and will continue to favor corporations, the military and warfare, even as millions of U.S. workers get their jobs outsourced, millions of children go to bed hungry, and millions of citizens go without the most basic health insurance coverage. The choice is ours, and never will that choice be more important than in November of this year (if the election isn’t postponed or canceled outright, that is!).
After reading this book I will never again be ashamed or shy about being who I am – a bleeding-heart liberal who loves people, especially children, and cares deeply about the environment, and wants, most of all, to preserve the freedoms this country was founded upon.