“She’s busy.” Have you ever said that of someone when explaining why that person is not available to assist with a cause? Has someone said it of you? I freely admit (though I am chagrined to have to do so) that it has certainly been said of me. John Horst in Community Conservatives and the Future: The Secret to Winning the Hearts and Minds of the Next Conservative Generation helps to explain the danger of such excuses for those who regard themselves as “conservatives.” Horst shows, through sound reasoning and common sense (which admittedly is not all that “common”), why it is important for people to participate in their community causes and how doing so will be required if those on the conservative side of the political spectrum are to get noticed and win future elections.
I found Horst’s approach to current political and societal issues refreshing and easy to follow. At the outset, he explains the history of traditional American thought: that the most significant unit of society is the individual in whom liberties exist by nature, as opposed to the “state” which exists first and foremost to secure those individual rights. That concept behind the American experiment is the quintessential difference between America and any other nation of any other time. Horst then reasons that conservatives, who embrace that philosophy, must take their message, by way of example, to their local communities. They must show up to do the work that must be done. It is not enough to “be busy” raising families and building businesses and paying taxes. Those who show up to devote time and energy to resolve community problems are those who will earn the right to be heard.
With that background, John Horst in Community Conservatives and the Future: The Secret to Winning the Hearts and Minds of the Next Conservative Generation, examines a wide variety of issues: racism, multiculturalism, the use of a common language, issues of morality and the language used to discuss them, the connection between social and fiscal conservative thinking, the moral issues behind economic issues, the fundamentals of money and inflation, debt, taxation, the freedom to succeed—and to fail, the free market, organized labor, immigration, civil liberties, privacy, the environment, and so much more. Horst brings his varied background knowledge and expertise to his writing and approaches issues with an eye toward identifying practical solutions to local problems. He avoids sounding preachy but, rather, seeks to find common ground. Indeed, he successfully manages to identify issues common to both The Occupy Wallstreet crowd and the Teaparty crowd. (No small feat, that!) Prepare to look at this work with an open eye. Whether you peg yourself on the political right or left, Horst will challenge at least some of what you think and you are sure to learn something along the way.
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