Conscience of A Conservative

Conscience of A Conservative

Book - 2017
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Random House, Inc.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “A thoughtful defense of traditional conservatism and a thorough assault on the way Donald Trump is betraying it.”—David Brooks, in his New York Times column

In a bold act of conscience, Republican Senator Jeff Flake takes his party to task for embracing nationalism, populism, xenophobia, and the anomalous Trump presidency. The book is an urgent call for a return to bedrock conservative principle and a cry to once again put country before party.

Dear Reader,
I am a conservative.
I believe that there are limits to what government can and should do, that there are some problems that government cannot solve, and that human initiative is best when left unfettered, free from government interference or coercion. I believe that these ideas, tested by time, offer the most freedom and best outcomes in the lives of the most people.
But today, the American conservative movement has lost its way. Given the state of our politics, it is no exaggeration to say that this is an urgent matter.
The Republican party used to play to a broader audience, one that demanded that we accomplish something. But in this era of dysfunction, our primary accomplishment has been constructing the argument that we’re not to blame. We have decided that it is better to build and maintain a majority by using the levers of power rather than the art of persuasion and the battle of ideas. We’ve decided that putting party over country is okay. There are many on both sides of the aisle who think this a good model on which to build a political career—destroying, not building. 
And all the while, our country burns, our institutions are undermined, and our values are compromised. We have become so estranged from our principles that we no longer know what principle is.
America is not just a collection of transactions. America is also a collection of ideas and values. And these are our values. These are our principles. They are not subject to change, owing to political fashion or cult of personality. I believe that we desperately need to get back to the rigorous, fact-based arguments that made us conservatives in the first place. We need to realize that the stakes are simply too high to remain silent and fall in line.
That is why I have written this book and am taking this stand.
—Jeff Flake

Baker & Taylor
Analyzes the current political rivalries that have led to a dysfunctional legislative process in Washington and advocates a return to the core principles of conservatism that value persuasion, fact-based arguments, and respect for the rule of law.

Publisher: New York : Random House, [2017]
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780399592911
Branch Call Number: 320.520973 Fla
Characteristics: xi, 140 pages ; 22 cm


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Aug 25, 2018

I respected Flake a little less after reading the book. He is forthright in his accurate portrayal of Trump and courageous as it likely cost his political career. He did it on principle, but those principles appear stiff and inflexible, highly ideological, and not ever examining contrary views. I am a liberal, so likely wouldn't agree with him on much, but what I look for in a conservative, or a progressive for that matter, is a world view that isn't totally black and white and has more sensitivity to other viewpoints.

Jan 15, 2018

Jeff Flake has given the reader a glimpse of what a politician faces in Washington. He describes actual situations and the outcomes of partisan based decisions. I am a center-Democrat but I found Republican Flake's writing an expression of a man with good common sense. Clearly, he has a moral compass that is severely lacking in Washington, D. C. and has identified the fractures in party politics.
"This is what happens when we exalt tactical victories over principle, give in to the politics of expediency and resentment, and forget who we are and what we are supposed to stand for." p. 43

Flake writes with conviction, clarity, efficiency of expression, and presents thought provoking commentary on Congress, the Senate and POTUS. A good read! I recommend it!

Nov 06, 2017

Terrible. Holier than thou Jeff Flake takes on the conservatives. Never defines his conservative beliefs, and any indictment of the liberals is always a "and they do it too."

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