“America faces a new culture war. This is not the culture war of the 1990s. This is not a fight over guns, abortions, religion, and gays. Nor is it about Republicans vs. Democrats. Rather, it is a struggle between two competing visions of America’s future.” – Arthur C. Brooks
Arthur C. Brooks is my favorite conservative author. In fact, his book “Gross National Happiness” was what first inspired me to join the Young Republicans. He has a great ability in taking what many of us already know to be true, intellectualizing it, and giving us the facts and statistics to back it up. His new book, “The Battle: How the Fight between Free Enterprise and Big Government Will Shape America’s Future,” follows that same formula and can be summed up with five simple words: intellectualizing the tea party movement.
He writes about how we are a 70-30 nation. The 30% think the country should move towards a more euro style, statist, “big government” society where the government decides what’s fair, takes you money, and distributes it as it sees fit. These are basically your liberals, academics, celebrities, and/or the media. The other 70% represent the rest of America, who believe in personal liberty, individual opportunity, and entrepreneurship.
The 70% sees President Obama’s statist agenda as a threat to everything they feel makes this country great, and looks to a country like Greece as where we might be headed if we continue down this path. The 30% thinks anyone who disagrees with them is just too stupid to know any better.
And no, Republicans don’t get a free pass. The increased spending and new entitlements that were created when we held all three branches of government is also discussed as being part of the problem. It’s just that the new regime is worse about it.
The book covers in depth what really caused the financial crisis vs. what the “30% coalition” wants you to believe about it, how the free enterprise really leads to the “pursuit of happiness” our founding fathers spoke of, and even made a moral case for the free enterprise system. That last one I felt was the most important chapter. Too frequently we defend “free enterprise” with percentages, marginal tax rates, and macro economics. Brooks write about how need to focus more on the human element of free enterprise and how it effects everyone’s lives for the better.
If you agree with Mr. Brooks that there’s a war brewing between free enterprise and “big government (and I can only assume that if you’re reading this you do) “The Battle” is a book you need to not only read, but share with your friends and family as well.