IS AMERICA BEYOND REFORM? Or Do Some Things in Our Society No Longer Fit? by Gordon K. Durnil

IS AMERICA BEYOND REFORM? Or Do Some Things in Our Society No Longer Fit?

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A serious but appealing assessment of the havoc worked by activist liberals and the Clinton administration on the sociopolitical state of America. Drawing largely on his own experiences in the upper echelons of the Republican Party and public service, the author offers a three-part audit of what he deems the nation's moral deficit. For openers, Durnil views with witty alarm the federal government's assaults on religion, the unwillingness of schools to teach the difference between right and wrong, the decline of adversarial civility, the leftist bias of the mainstream media, the ways in which corporate bureaucracies undermine free-market capitalism. In a second section, the heartland Tory provides a rundown on his conservative credo (less government, lower taxes, fewer statist restrictions, personal accountability, etc.). Dunn (The Making of a Conservative Environmentalist, 1995) goes on to explain why a regard for the environment accords with the bedrock principles of conservatism, demonstrates how the received wisdom of any ideology may be at odds with the truth. He also delivers guidance on topics of interest to the silent majority. Cases in point range from how to run for office through the reasons the two-party system is worth preserving, and what, if anything, voting patterns of the past two decades can tell us about the future. Durnil's thoughtful text is not without comic relief, including a series of short, antic takes on such odd topics as toilet-seat covers, jury duty, fisticuffs, death, and the risks of pure democracy (e.g., referendums). An insightful conservative's low-key judgment on what he views as radical progressivism, a volume that could reopen the lively if bitter debate on individual rights and collective responsibilities.

Pub Date: Aug. 31st, 1997
Page count: 314pp
Publisher: "Sligo (P.O. Box 523, Bend, OR 97709)"