I’m a Republican political consultant but I’m no fan of conservative mouthpieces. I don’t listen to Rush or Hannity. I never listened to O’Reilly. For the love of God, I don’t listen to Ann Coulter.
I prefer to think for myself. I base my opinions on logic rather than emotion. That’s why my one exception to the rule is Ben Shapiro. Sure, Shapiro has said a few inflammatory things. That’s always going to happen when one talks for a living. Still, I find Shapiro to be a well-studied, intelligent, and logical conservative.
In “The Right Side of History” Shapiro makes the argument that Americans are starting to forget what makes this nation so great. In this case, it’s our foundation of Judeo-Christian values which are being supplanted by secularism and materialism. America has lost any kind of purpose that tied us all together which only leaves complete individualism.
During this crisis, everyone from politicians to celebrities is screaming “we are all in this together” but for the decades following WWII we haven’t been in much together at all. Our actions are selfish, fueled by ideas of liberal individualism. This liberalism is destructive to both self and society. As we lose any kind of purpose based on spiritualism we begin focusing solely on materialism.
He writes: “America is struggling right now and a lot of ways. But it’s the largest struggle is the struggle for our national soul. We are so angry at each other right now. That anger is palpable. Where did it come from? It came from the destruction of a common vision. We used to believe in the founding vision, supported by a framework of personal virtue called from Judeo-Christian morality. We used to see each other as brothers and sisters, not the “1% versus the 99%” or “the privileged versus the victims.” We weren’t enemies. We were a community, forged in fire and tethered together by set of values stretching back to the Garden of Eden – a community of individuals working to understand the value of each other as images of God, a community of individuals who believed in our own capacity to change ourselves and the world around us.”
I liked this book. I really enjoy Shapiro’s deep knowledge of history. I really have only one problem with this book. He spends a couple hundred pages explaining the problem and how we’ve seen this same recurrence throughout human history, but he only spends a few pages describing a solution.
As I read this book in the midst of a national crisis I could not help but wonder if, like WWII or 9/11, some good might come of all this. Perhaps this crisis will teach us how to be nation of brothers and sisters who work together for a common purpose. Perhaps I dream too big.