Indiana’s governor delivers his vision for saving America.
Gov. Daniels, a darling of the Republican Party, proves his stripes as a faithful conservative by setting forth a small-government, pro-business agenda to address the country’s current economic woes. While the author touches briefly on an array of hot-button political issues (health care, national security, foreign policy), “[t]he enemy is real and imminent. It is the debt we have accumulated.” Rather than wage a full-scale rhetorical assault on the Obama administration, Daniels prefers the nuanced sneak attack, painting the president as an anti–private-sector politician with an “extreme agenda of expanding federal domination over the private economy.” Instead of relying on the federal government, Daniels tells Americans they should remain invested in their own futures. On a smaller scale, the governor also takes issue with the nation’s educational curricula—in particular, the high-school civics classroom. “It would be bad enough if today’s students were merely left unaware of the greatness and superiority of the free institutions American has brought to the world,” he writes. “In reality, they are more often taught the converse: that we are a deeply flawed nation.” Yet for the remainder of the book Daniels picks at these very flaws, ostensibly in the hopes of seeking practical solutions. Perhaps the author’s most important contribution stems not from policymaking, but political philosophy. Fully cognizant of the dire economic problems with which the country is faced, Daniels calls upon politicians to seek a temporary truce on social issues until overcoming the financial hurdles. “If America goes broke,” he writes, “suffering will come to gays and straights, men and women, pro-life and pro-choice advocates, and to people of all races”—a politic answer that leaves him poised for a future run at higher office.
A carefully argued political treatise, but one of many similar books during these contentious political times.