Book Review: Mother, Should I Trust The Government

Mother, Should I Trust The Government?: The Making And Keeping Of Our American Republic, by Jake Jacobs Ph.D

[Note: This book was provided free of charge by Life Sentence Publishing in exchange for an honest review.]

The short answer to the titular question of this book is no. The longer answer takes about two hundred pages to tell, in detailed text, often supplemented by entertaining and political pointed cartoons. This author is refreshingly consistent in his approach to dealing with political concerns, and even if he is quite hostile to Alexander Hamilton, and not entirely just to his own admittedly complicated views [1], he manages to be equally hostile, and with a lot more reason, to the statist and anti-liberty rebellion of the slave South. The author strikes the reader as a consistent conservatarian, with a deep suspicion of government and a strong distaste for Progressivism of either partisan variety, and a strong willingness to accept labels so long as they aid one in description and evaluation. Suffice it to say that in a field where poor revisionism is rife, this author manages to make a refreshing and bracingly honest appeal to the legitimacy of the political worldview of the Founding Fathers in a way that is quirky but not overly idiosyncratic.

In terms of its organization, the book spends the first 130 pages or so (included in this is a lengthy conclusion that takes up almost 40 pages) that gives some strong historical reasons, including the oppression and corruption of Imperial England, the statist model of the Confederacy and its hostility to state’s rights when it was done by Northerners, and a strong attack on post-1913 Progressivism, and then spends the second and shorter part of the book giving an example of some of the thoughts that the author has. The book comes from an open political ally of Wisconsin’s Scott Walker, and gives an idea of what Walker’s own campaign appeal would be like, appealing to a history of state’s rights both North and South against expanding government, and making an appeal for liberty and conservatism that does not give any favor to neo-Confederate leanings and desires freedom in the service of a moral and responsible and honorable citizenry. It strikes just the sort of chords I can agree with, even if it is far more optimistic about our present society than I am.

What keeps this work from being tiresome, even with its short length, given the contentious nature of political activism [2], is the fact that the book has a very self-effacing sense of humor. Included in the introductory section of the book is a humorous discussion by the author of what happened when his elderly mother first saw the question on the title and answered it with an unprintable response, not realizing it was meant as a rhetorical question. Indeed, this book demonstrates that a great deal of our contemporary political disagreement rests on the problem of trust. Some people trust government, others trust business, some trust only themselves, and some unfortunate souls do not even trust themselves and certainly do not trust anyone else either. Short of a massive societal moral reformation, it seems difficult to envision a way for our republic to be saved, and even if this book speaks bravely about liberty, a free people must be a moral one, and we are far too corrupt to look our Founding Fathers in the eye these days with any degree of comfort. It is little to be wondered at that we must insult them and dishonor them to try to drag them down to our level.

[1] See, for example:

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2013/08/18/book-review-alexander-hamilton/

[2] See, for example:

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2013/01/25/book-review-right-wing-handbook-debunking-ten-lies-of-the-left/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2010/12/16/book-review-get-out-of-our-house-revolution/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2012/12/05/book-review-rules-for-conservative-radicals/

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
This entry was posted in American Civil War, American History, Book Reviews, Christianity and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Book Review: Mother, Should I Trust The Government

  1. You have an awesome way with words, Nathan. I love reading your book reviews!

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