Saturday, May 31, 2008
So, there is this good book I read...
I've been deliberating on how to write a review about this book I read. The vast majority of people I know, and nearly all my family on both sides, label themselves conservative and/or republican. I, although, am fiercely independent. I think I inherited that from my dad. You may feel the same way, but I'm tired of receiving mass email regarding Barack Obama's middle name and how it makes him a terrorist or George Bush's lack of intelligence. It all comes off as trite propaganda and sloganeering. Yet, it is truly amazing at how both die-hard liberals and conservatives eat this stuff up and hold such things as truths. If we are to make informed and educated opinions, we need to dig a little deeper. In addition, it would be helpful to listen to those who we think we disagree with. We may learn more about our own perspectives and maybe realize that our enemies are not so different from ourselves.
So, there is this good book I read by none other than the third most hated Democrat (after the Clintons), Al Gore. It is titled The Assault On Reason. This book is by no means an easy read. You can almost hear Al Gore's long Tennessee drawl as you read it. Before I started the book, I was expecting some shameless promoting of his current projects, which he does, just to a minimum (although not enough for your biased republican). I was also expecting some sour grapes from losing the 2000 election to G.W.. However, you get a sense that he is past the pain from the loss and is looking to achieving a brighter future under our current circumstances.
Al Gore does not just ramble on with his opinion on the state of the environment or anti-war sentiment. Although, I should read the book over, it can be generalized into three different topics: 1. Media- its origins, how it has been manipulated since the time of the invention of the printing press by politicians for their gain and how it have been influenced by it. 2. the Erosion of the Constitution- he talks in detail how presidential administrations have eroded the Constitution for the gaining of greater power in times of crisis. He does detail much on how the Bush administration (not just Dubya himself) has put the sanctity and worth of the Constitution in great danger. And 3. How we as informed citizens can make a difference- We rely much to much on 30 news clip or advertisments to base our biases and opinions. Television has been particularly mind warping. A small group of large corporations manage numerous television channels and stations and we are only hearing what they want us to hear (you knew that already). However, we enable this process by falling for it and tuning in for more.
This book reads like a brilliant research project. Gore does inject some of his thoughts and opinions, but he sites many references from philosophers, scientists, and our founding fathers so that we also can learn to appreciate the magnificence of the Constitution and how it was constructed. He does site his sources (around 250 of them) and gives credit where credit is due. Like him or not, this book makes you feel like he truly and deeply loves this country and the principles it is founded on. He writes with a sense of desperation to return to those principles that we have lost, especially with this current administration.
I can go on and on about how good this book is. Despite how I feel about this book, there will be those who will abhor this book without opening the cover due to pettiness against Al Gore or the Democratic Party. It is a shame we will deny ourselves certain things, because of our prejudices. After reading it, I don't feel panic or hatred. Rather, I am hopeful and enlightened. This book is a call to action, a refusal to be a victim. Read it if you want. I highly recommend it. I don't expect any comments on this post, due to the "sensitive nature" of politics, but if you want to talk a little about books, I don't mind an open discussion. Just don't go all Rush Limbaugh conservative on me, please.