Books of 2010: Give Me Liberty

While I was in Philadelphia over spring break, I bought a book at the Constitution Center called "Give Me Liberty: A Handbook for American Revolutionaries," by Naomi Wolf.  It was an interesting read.

To start off, Naomi Wolf is much more liberal (or "progessive") than I am.  She is actually kind of on the near opposite end of the spectrum from me.  That said, she is very concerned about the deterioration of American politics.  While I disagree with most of her politics, I do not disagree with most of her convictions.  What I like is how she can look past her politics and just say: "It's ok if we disagree.  But if we don't even present our arguments, nothing will improve."

A couple of interesting things from the book.  First is a story of her going to a protest in NYC at the Chinese Consulate.  There were two groups protesting two different things, but they had to share a permit and a bullhorn, and were walled off behind partitions a block away from the consulate.  So much for free speech.

Then there were a couple of quotes that stand out to me, that I would like to present without comment:
The media marked has no incentive to listen to you or reflect your real concerns.  So stop paying attention to the puppet show that now passes for debate.  You need to be the pundit.

and she quotes from Natan Shansky, who was in a Soviet Gulag for many years:

Stability is perhaps the most important word in the diplomat's dictionary.  In its name, autocrats are embraced, dictators are coddled, and tyrants are courted.
 The last part of the book is a "User's Guide" for organizing groups, writing letters to newspapers and politicians, protesting, petitioning, and other grassroots things people can do. 

There was a little bit of lefty mindlessness whenever it talked about the 2nd Amendment; they said it "protects the right to own guns, at least in certain circumstances."  Ummm... SHALL NOT be infringed?  That sounds like it applies to all circumstances to me.  Also, Naomi is a big supporter of direct democracy, and I can see where she is coming from, but I am not sold.  Seems like it would be too easy for a majority to run amok, and historically they seem to be awfully good at getting dictators into power.  I think if the constitutional republic was good enough for the founders, it is good enough for me, and I would welcome anyone else's view on this... but I digress.

It was a fairly interesting read, and it was nice to hear  from "the other side of the aisle" with a respectful tone, with much to agree with.  I give it 7 1/2 cannonballs out of 10.  Now I am on to "Atlas Shrugged."

No comments: