Book Review from the Pocket Pistol: The Revolution: A Manifesto by Ron Paul (Roughly 175 Pages)
When I got eyebrow deep in the machinery of Republican Party in 2008, going so far as to attend the district convention as an alternate delegate and the state convention as a delegate, I did so because Dr. Ron Paul sought the Republican Party nomination for President. As a strong supporter of Constitutionalism, liberty, limited government, and a free market economy, I felt he was the best option (despite being a Republican, by mainstream standards of Republicanism). After experiencing the corrupt partisanship and bureaucratic incompetence of the Republican Party from the inside, I felt disgusted, drained, and disinclined to ever do anything like that again.
After reading this book, I’ve changed my mind.
It is a clear, plain English explanation of the principles by which its author guides his political life. Unlike some candidates who have published “campaign books”, he didn’t employ the services of a ghost writer. Unlike others, his writing isn’t amateurish and confused. Unlike pretty much all of them, he wrote about the things that should matter to voters; his views and policies, seeking to educate readers rather than merely present a book-length equivalent of a college entrance essay. The book didn’t only reaffirm everything I knew about its author’s dedication to his principles, reinforced by his decades-long voting record in the US Congress and regular statements of policy, but also provided an introductory, end-to-end overview of his entire political philosophy and its practical application in under 200 pages.
Having read this book, if I had it all to do over again, I find my decision to involve myself in the meat grinder of national politics at the state level reaffirmed. In short, I’d do it again, given a candidate like this to support.
It isn’t exactly an academically rigorous educational text. It is, instead, written for the layman in incredibly accessible terms, making the principles and policies he espouses seem not only clear and understandable, but unavoidably obvious. For the one issue he mentions on which I disagree with him, he advocates a Constitutionalist policy with which I agree. With wider circulation, earlier in his campaign, it may well have been the single most powerful marketing tool in the entire 2008 Presidential race.
There are only two downsides to this book:
It has a $21.00 cover price, and is distributed under typical strong copyright protections. If it had been offered a little more cheaply in hardcopy form, and for free as a PDF download, it could have reached many more people.
It occurs to me that for books of this type, there are three categories of relevance: timely, timeless, and irrelevant. A timeless book will be just as relevant in fifty years as it is now, because its statements are not specific to the time in which it is written. An irrelevant book doesn’t even seem relevant when it is written, such as Hillary Clinton’s pre-campaign book where she talked about how great she was for several hundred pages of amateurish, stumbling, passive voice exposition. A timely book, like this one, is a product of its time — and while the principles presented in The Revolution will not fade with time, the way they are couched in terms of the 2008 Presidential election, it will begin to look dated in some respects before long.
All in all, it is an excellent book, a “must read” book, especially as an introductory text on political philosophy from the perspective of Constitutionalism and liberty, on the current state of affairs of American government, and on the the general policies of action by which both the grass roots of the country and a hypothetical good US President could take steps to turn the relentless downward trends in the health of the nation around. Read it, if you can find it.