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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
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By TLN on 08-04-17
Liberal Gives Flake 5 Stars
I am a liberal. I do not agree with Jeff Flake's economic philosophies and I am not a fan of Barry Goldwater, but Flake's championship of the Constitution, the rule of law, common decency, and fair play is inspiring.
Flake actually makes me believe bi-partisanship is not an impossible goal. He also humanizes conservatives for me in a way I much needed. Flake's voice is sincere, kind, intelligent, and he offers an argument for integrity that is most refreshing in our current political climate.
Critics from the Right call him a traitor for saying the Emperor has no clothes, critics from the Left call his effort hollow because he is not doing enough to stand up to the naked Emperor. I say this book is a BEGINNING, and it is a breath of fresh air in an overheated country.
23 of 25 people found this review helpful
By Plainfield317 on 09-08-17
Worthy of your time be you conservative or not
What made the experience of listening to Conscience of a Conservative the most enjoyable?
Good narrator, concise verbiage, clean production.
What did you like best about this story?
I think that Flake honestly provides an assessment of his experience in congress and the senate that gives the public another perspective into how we got where we are right now. He doesn't paint himself as being blameless, or claim to have the power to change the situation easily. He shares a common sense approach for all Americans, founded by his conservative values. I lean liberal but believe Flake's desire is to serve all Americans and is worthy of being heard.
What does Milton Jeffers and Jeff Flake - preface bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
I might be irritated if another narrator was not as good.
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
No, I appreciated that it seemed to be a calm assessment of one person's perspective.
Any additional comments?
I didn't find it preachy.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful