Friday, February 23, 2007

Books on tape

Just got back from a two-day road trip to Louisiana to attend the funeral of my sister's father-in-law. Before leaving I popped into the library to check out their books on CD section and picked up three that I have been wanting to read but haven't had time.
The fist was Jimmy Carter's "Our Endangered Values" which is an indictment of the radical, fundamentalist conservatives who have taken over our government - through their control and domination of the Republican Party.
Carter is an exceedingly decent man, a southern Baptist and Sunday school teacher who 30 years ago was considered to be a moderate, if not conservative, Democrat thus drawing the ire of the liberal wing of the Party and prompting the 1980 primary challenge by Ted Kennedy that ironically served only to weaken Carter and usher in the presidency of Ronald Reagan.
Today, of course, Carter is firmly on the liberal side as Republicans have shifted the country's political discourse sharply to the right.
Listening to the book, what struck me the most was the realization of just how intellectually shallow and faith-based the conservative movement is. The hard, cold facts of most issues are clearly on the liberal side.
Another book I picked up at the same time and which I am only half-way through listening to is John Dean's "Conservatives Without Conscience."
Dean was a protege of Barry Goldwater and legal counsel to Richard Nixon, but today he is thoroughly disgusted by what he calls the authoritarian strain of conservatism which has infected his old party like a cancer.

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