Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Understand conservative power in America

One of the good books I read last year was The Right Nation - Conservative Power in America (New York, Penguin, 2004) written by two respectable British journalists, John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge. Both of them work for the London-based Economist. In my opinion, the book has done the remarkable work of outlining and portraying the grassroot or social conservatism in the United States.

The grassroot or social conservatism form the power base of the Republican Party, particularly its neo-conservative wing. The word Right as appears in the book title has double meanings for the authors. One refers to the United States as a right-wing country, while another says that the United States always thinks it is right or correct in whatever it says or does.

Writing before the re-election of President Bush in early 2004, the authors had already prophetically argued that "the more you demonize the man (President Bush), the more you consolidate his base and alienate floating voters". The Democrats should have consulted John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge, not Michael Moore, for electoral strategy.

There are plenty of other witty insights and sharp foresights on the domestic politics as well as foreign policy of the sole superpower on earth at the moment. The book is certainly a good reference material for American studies.