John W Dean
This was a very interesting book that explained a lot about some of the problems I have had with conservatism. Mr. Dean explained the different forms of conservatism. I agree with his assesments and his examples of folks that fit each of the different types.
I am definately a traditional conservative and a fiscal conservative.
I am definately not a neo-conservative or an authoritarian conservative.
Social and cultural conservatism is a little harder to hash out. There are issues where I can call myself socially conservative, but I think overall I am far more libertarian in these areas than conservative. I am even leaning towards liberal in some social areas.
But, this book is not about me. It is about the people John Dean says are conservatives but have no conscience. They don't acti like conservatives. They serve their own interests. On that I will agree with him 100%.
This book showed me why, despite my calling myself conservative, I can't stand being associated with some others that call themselves by the same name. I don't like the guys on the following list. I don't like their politics. I don't like thier arrogance. I don't like their condescending ways. I never have, yet still felt they were on the same team I was on. They are not and I am glad this book showed me that.
Guys like Newt Gingrich, Tom DeLay, Bill Frist, Jack Abramoff, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney (though I liked him as Sec Def during the 1st gulf War), Alexander Haig, Karl Rove, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Donald Rumsfeld, and Pat Buchanan (thought I loved him on CNN's Crossfire) to name a few. I think these kind of conservatives are full of dookie.
These are the kinds of conservatives that will do anything and everything to further their cause. Not the conservative cause, but their own version of what that means. It hurts the country. It causes division and polarization.
So, for twenty years the right has been dominated by guys like these clowns. This is what people think conservatism is. I feel bad about that. Mr. Dean has a great point in this book when he talks about the motivations behind these types of people and how they just want power and control. They escalate problems in DC and then the left retaliates in kind. This goes back and forth until nobody is listening to the other side and there is absolutely no compromise on any issue.
That is not what the founders of our country had in mind nor what was required for them to agree on a new form of government. They were full of compromise and debated many things. They listened to each other and found ways to make things work and reach the goal. That rarely happens today.
I gained a new-found respect for one of my own Senators. Lindsey O. Graham. I agree with him on a lot of things and then he goes of and does something I find just totally out of charachter for the current definition of a conservative. I did not know why he would do this. Now I do. This man is working to better the country by listening and not being an arse on all matters. Now that I know why he is doing the things he is doing I understand his actions much better and have an even greater respect for his reasoning. The guys like John McCain and Colin Powell (One of the really good guys). I understand them better now. I may not agree with all the things these guys do, but I can understand why they are doing it. Well, except that Powell endorsement of Barack Obama.
I thought this book would be just another left wing rant against the right. I was wrong. I gained a respect for John Dean also. The book was very good and explained his thoughts and ideas in an excellent manner. One where I, the supposed side being attacked, did not feel attacked at all. Rather, it felt like some pieces of the puzzle that I knew were missing due to my own inability to look in the right places were found and handed to me. That allowed me to look at myself in a way I was not able to see before.
Thanks Mr. Dean. But, no, I will not vote for you. :-)