Right Wing Handbook: Debunking Ten Lies Of The Left, by David L. Goetsch
Any book published in West Virginia whose front cover has a bald eagle saying, “Carpe Diem Christo!” makes its political philosophy pretty open from the start (or ab initio as one would say in Latin). And David L. Goetsch is an experienced writer seeking to encourage conservative activists, as this is the second book I have reviewed from him . Technically speaking, while Moses (and God) were content with ten commandments, Mr. Goetsch comes up with eleven lies of the left that he details for conservatives to allow them to demolish common left-wing talking points. These eleven lies are: Conservatives don’t care about poverty and homelessness, Conservatives want to defund education, Conservatives aren’t concerned about health care, Conservatives believe racism is a non-issue, Conservatives love war, Conservatives approve of corporate greed, Conservatives have a love affair with guns, Conservatives hate women and gays, Conservatives don’t want freedom of religion, Conservatives are indifferent about natural resources and the environment, and the bonus lie that Jesus was a liberal .
It is a striking irony that while the author’s advice in his previous work was to advise conservatives to attack on economics and to downplay social issues, his focus here on debunking and defense is on social issues, perhaps seeing them as weaknesses in the way that they are often discussed. The book begins with the (true) statement that liberals routinely twist the truth to paint themselves as the party of compassion. The tone of the book is very harsh and provocative, clearly it is designed to be red meat for conservatives, and not designed to be fair-minded cross-cultural communication. The book clearly points to two of its aims–combating the lies of liberals and educating those who may be duped by smooth-talking rhetoric from the left. The book mixes sound criticism of big-government idolatry with a mix of right-wing solutions that appear to assume virtuous behavior on the part of businesses. The goals for education–lowering costs by changing priorities, is sensible, but appears to fail to recognize the political purpose of public education from its inception in the United States. The advice on health care and combating racism (in part by eliminating EEOC requirements and treating people as individuals rather than merely members of collective groups) is sound and reasonable. The advice on how to preserve peace through strength runs counter to the sobering math of our economic impotence that will soon require drastic cuts to our imperial military. The author completely whiffs on the subject of corporate pay, completely failing to recognize that business executives are often as equally qualified morally to set their own salaries as Congressmen and totally failing to tackle the issue of crony capitalism. The book’s commentary on guns is basically sound, even if it fails to wrestle with the boundaries of what regulations on guns would be consistent with the right of Americans to self-defense. The advice on abortion and marriage, to view it as a religious rather than a political issue, and to deal with it in a Christian fashion, is directly in line with my own views. The author’s pointing out the religious bigotry and hypocrisy of the left regarding religion is accurate, but it would have been more topical and even more revealing to show the difference between the left’s bending over backwards to avoiding offending Islam with their total hostility to biblical religion. The separation between sound and balanced environmental stewardship and the leftist environmentalist agenda is also a necessary tonic. The author even manages to deal with the difficult subject of Jesus’ politics without coming across as too strident.
When one examines a book like this, it is clear that the aim of this book is to influence long-term electoral politics. However, given the way the book is organized, it is clear that while the clear partisan bent of this book is not accidental and is a strength (at least to its intended reading audience), that the quality of this short book is greatly uneven depending on the issue being discussed. The book is the strongest when it points to transcendent standards of Christian morality and behavior, and its weakest when it is trying to justify the status quo or failing to explain the history of particular issues. As a whole, the book is short and ought to greatly appeal to conservative activists, and one suspects that it meets the author’s goals and ambitions. Whether it will be acted on successfully is anyone’s guess.
 For a dissenting view on this question, see: https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2013/01/17/book-review-dirty-god/