The American Ambassador to Libya is murdered.
Angry Islamic radicals climb the wall of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and destroy the U.S. flag.
Meanwhile, 23 million Americans are unemployed.
While the U.S. heads towards a fiscal cliff.
Why Obama? Why Romney?
What are these two people really talking about?
There are answers, of course. Many of which can be found in book form.
I know, I know. Who has time to read a book these days? It may take less time than listening to a Bill Clinton speech, but it's still a time-taker. You could get through the 2012 election circus watching television and reading websites.
Or, you could read your way through it. Book by book. Understanding what's really at stake in what many have called the most important election in the nation's history -- other than that clamoring dust-up that was 1860. Getting there one page at a time.
Making lists of this type are always perilous ventures. Inevitably there will be cries of "how could you have forgotten….", immediately followed by a book so obvious the list maker looks the idiot. Or, immediately followed by a book so not-obvious it makes the list suggester look the idiot.
Be that as it may, here's a list of books relevant to understanding the conservative side of this election. From understanding why there are 23 million unemployed to realizing why U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens was murdered yesterday, there is something here that helps explain the conservative case -- and why the left always gets the same terrible results.
• They aren't books -- but beginning with the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States is a must.
Mark Levin has effectively written a fabulously perceptive constitutional trilogy. In order that would be:
• Men in Black: How the Supreme Court Is Destroying America brings together a tutorial on history, the law and how the Supreme Court has gotten out of control. The machinations of the Court this past summer of 2012 in legitimizing Obamacare occurred years after this book first appeared -- yet is perfectly explained in these pages. Understanding the need to keep Obama from appointing more liberal Justices -- and for a President Romney to ensure he is appointing real conservatives -- begins in these pages.
• Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto The second in the Levin series on the law and the Constitution, this one was such a huge bestseller, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann called Liberty and Tyranny the "intellectual foundation" of the Tea Party. The book explores "the modern liberal assault on Constitution-based values." Written before Obama was elected, the book was published as the Obama assaults on health care and the free market launched the Tea Party and the resistance to an ever bigger federal government. A clearer examination of liberty in the fight against statism is not to be found.
• Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America was Levin's third blockbuster in the series. Exploring the origins, the "psychology (and) motivations" of the idea of utopia and how liberals are forever dreaming up one scheme after another to bring about the perfect world. A perfection that is, of course, unattainable.
• Willful Blindness: A Memoir of the Jihad. Andrew McCarthy was the U.S. government prosecutor in the case surrounding the original attack of the World Trade Center in 1993. McCarthy, who writes as well for National Review Online, has been one of the most perceptive of analysts about dealing with Islamic jihadists. To read McCarthy (his other books include The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America and How Obama Embraces Islam's Sharia Agenda is to come to grips with why the news of this very week -- the murder of U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three others.
• The Great Destroyer: Barack Obama's War on the Republic is David Limbaugh's priceless, item-by-item listing of what an increasing number of Americans believe is President Obama's deliberate attacks on both " the American free market economy and principles of limited government that have made America the envy of the world."
• Obama's America: Unmaking the American Dream by Dinesh D'Souza is built on D'Souza's previous bestseller, the stunning The Roots of Obama's Rage. The two books have provided the research for the current hit film 2016. What's detailed here is "what Obama plans to do in a second administration -- a makeover of America so drastic that the 'shining city on a hill' will become a shantytown in a rather dangerous global village."
• The Amateur: Barack Obama in the White House by Edward Klein is a devastating, well-sourced exposé that paints a shocking portrait of a "callow, thin-skinned, arrogant president with messianic dreams of grandeur" drenched in the politics of the radical Left.
• Radical-in-Chief: Barack Obama and the Untold Story of American Socialism by Stanley Kurtz. A Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center as well as a contributing editor to National Review Online, Kurtz did the kind of vetting of Obama the mainstream media refused to do in 2008. The book is penetrating study of what Kurtz accurately calls the President's "socialist convictions and tactical ruthlessness."
With shocked Americans watching the damage to the American free-market system and their fellow citizens surface less than a week after Obamacare has been signed into law, Hannity's book tour and the spotlight he brings to Reagan's principles could not have come at a better moment.
The moment to read Hannity's book is even more important now. Hannity was one of the few who understood from the get-go the relevance of Obama's relationships with people like the "unrepentant" terrorist Bill Ayers and the black liberation theologian the Reverend Jeremiah Wright. He understood with a crisp clarity exactly what those relationships meant for the driving philosophy behind a prospective Obama Administration.
• Culture of Corruption: Obama and His Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks, and Cronies by Michelle Malkin. As only Malkin can do, she saw it coming and dug deep, her 2009 book once again reminding why the mainstream media has lost its audience. She is relentless here in digging into the deals and the sleaze that the liberal media tried to shut out.
• The Death of Liberalism by our own R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr. Reviewed here, it is a devastating takedown of how liberalism headed down the path of a political unpopularity that has been fatal to its political health. Liberalism's "acolytes do not have the numbers [or]… the policies," Tyrrell observes. And he noted this months before the Charlotte liberals demanded that God be ousted from their platform. One suspects God may not be much interested in liberalism, either.
• Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, from Mussolini to the Politics of Change by Jonah Goldberg. This is a sweeping clearance of the intellectual cobwebs that have been allowed to cover the hard facts of what really lies behind liberal thinking. Goldberg does the heavy lifting here, exposing the links between Mussolini fascism, Hitler's Nazis and the world of modern-day liberalism.
• Demonic: How the Liberal Mob is Endangering America by Ann Coulter. With her usual piercing style, Coulter "argues that liberals exhibit all the psychological characteristics of a mob -- practicing groupthink, slavishly following intellectual fashions and periodically bursting into violence." As we have often pointed out (here, for example), modern liberalism got its start with the French Revolution. Coulter's book is a tour de force that connects for the reader the psychology behind liberalism and its urge for the totalitarian.
The Financial Meltdown
• Reckless Endangerment: How Outsized Ambition, Greed, and Corruption Led to Economic Armageddon by New York Times reporter Gretchen Morgenson and Joshua Rosner. The next time you hear Obama refer to "inheriting a mess" -- read this to see how and why the "mess" came about. Hint: Do the names Bill Clinton, Barney Frank and Timothy Geithner ring a bell?
• Outnumbered: Chronicles of a Manhattan Conservative by Jedediah Bilah. This smart, funny but deadly serious book pinpoints with precision the almost laughable elitism that has infected liberalism and the Democrats. The "I'm smarter than thou" thinking that is so hilariously misplaced it would be worthy of a sitcom were it not so serious in its impact on the country. Ms. Bila tells her own personal tale of survival amidst this kind of thinking in the heart of liberal Manhattan. But make no mistake -- this thinking is everywhere in the liberal world. After all -- who needs God in a platform if one is smarter than God?
• The Right Frequency: The Story of the Talk Radio Giants Who Shook Up the Political and Media Establishment by Fred Lucas. So your burst of sanity from the media world comes from listening to Rush or Sean or Mark or Laura or Glenn or a whole host of others? This is the book that explains the history of talk radio (it goes back further than you think) and explains how it got to be the lifeline to so many millions of Americans. If you're interested in the personalities, the history and the impact of talk radio, Fred Lucas has the story.
• Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis by Ludwig von Mises. We'll end with some of the classics -- and this is surely one. Unless you're a speed reader, this doorstop of a book will take you well beyond the election to read. But if you settle in, this is one of the gold standard looks at socialism and, by extension, everything the Obama administration has been trying to do. It's one of GOP VP candidate Paul Ryan's favorites -- and you can bet he's read it from cover to cover.
• The Road to Serfdom by F.A. Hayek is another classic from, as Ryan called them at The American Spectator dinner last year "the Austrians." Suffice to say, if Obama ever read it -- he doesn't get it. Or he does.
• Free to Choose: A Personal Statement by Milton and Rose Friedman. Obama surely didn't read this one either. Why bother?
• Witness by Whittaker Chambers. Yes, I know. The Soviets are gone. But the idea of socialism which Chambers witnessed against is still alive and well. Another doorstop. But a key to much that still goes on.
That's enough, yes? Are there others? Absolutely. Doubtless you will have your favorites. Maybe you won't read a one.
But know this. In these books are contained everything you need to know about the question of 2012.
We book report. You decide.
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