Thursday, December 20, 2007

Review of John Dean's book Private Reading Moments

by Minerva L. Williams

John Dean, the author of Broken Government, was top advisor with the former President Nixon’s administration. His book is published by Penguin Group, New York and copyrighted 2007. ISBN # 978-0-670-01820-8.

Dean states and gives specific examples in each chapter on how the Republican forty-year rule is impacting the executive, the legislative and the judicial systems of the United States. He concludes that our nation is in need of new Republican players. Dean suggests a massive housecleaning of inappropriate policies and renewed vigilance to reduce the possibility of this happening again.

The thesis of his writing is that the separation of power in the United States is quickly being diminished. His first book “Conservatives without Conscience” was explaining “what the administration was doing”; the second book “Worse than Watergate” was explaining “why they were doing it”. He calls this recent book the trilogy of the “consequences of right authoritarian thinking” and the effects of the government in the United States.

Now, Dean calls himself a registered Independent, having abandoned the Republican Party and cites it is no longer the conservative Republican “thinking party” that it use to be. He believes the party has been high jacked.

Dean warns that the current judicial system is slowly turning into a “federal like thinking clones” who walk in lockstep of the neo-conservative thinking, who know how to thoroughly manipulate the government, the media, the military and any other system that gets in its way. He stresses that the administration embeds “right thinking” authoritative soldiers in every aspect of the American systems. They rationalize any policy deficiency, rather than correct it. Their efforts may reverse a hundred years of civil and human rights written in the Constitution today in order for Bush to complete his ill devised mandates.

Deans’ supporting evidence, researched by an academic team at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln is supported by documents most individuals wouldn’t know how to access. His legal explanations are written in a college-textbook style and reflective of the years of legal counsel and examples he supplied to the leadership of the Republican Party. Citing three out of four Americans surveyed, while writing this book, “know the government is broken (hence the title) but “can’t explain specifics” and he says they base this “it is more of a feeling than the facts”.

Dean’s apparent disgust with the current administration is supported heavily with details designed for the frustrated moderate Republican, who knows U.S. policies are going the wrong way but not understanding exactly why. He believes that even the Moderate Democrat should “read his works not because of books sales” but because they too have a huge stake in our government. Dean believes that true Republicans should be downright disgusted once they acknowledge the details and consequences of the various failed policies this administration has initiated. He believes the current administration is able to propose and to executive their policies because people can’t believe “the blatant, absurdity and “dumbness” of what they are seeing.

Deans gives numerous examples, i.e. the decision leading to going to Iraq in the first place. He says long standing foreign allies, military leaders, CIA, FBI, and republican leadership were publically destroyed to even demonized when they disagreed with the Iraq policies.

He says even Kissinger, who is referred to as “a war monger by the Green political party”, calls this “a dumb war, the dumbest he has ever seen”. Call it Dumb, Dumber and Dumbest group of leaders he has ever witnessed. Dean questions whether or not even Nixon, who Dean counseled and considered the beginning of Republican failed authoritarian policies, would have agreed to going into Iraq. Leading Republicans, academicians, foreign leaders, financial magnates are cited and question where the voices of the American citizens are. And why aren’t the normal Joe and Judy Six Pack enraged? Dean believes the manipulation of the media, the news pundits and supporters of the authoritarian thinking leaders “calling it job security”, “patriotism” and “Christian rationalization” overwhelm protest thinking.

Dean says one of the problems with today’s politics is that it is riddled with “an authoritarian personality and behavioral style which dominates even the Republican leadership. The leaders are often called in and told “it is my way” and “I am the social dominator who will determine the direction of this party”. Those that step outside of this line of thinking will be eliminated. This is seen, Dean adds, whenever any Republican legislature steps out and speaks in opposition to Bush’s policies.

To date, he warns that Rudy Giuliani is the best example of this continuum for the 2008 presidential election and says that another four years of this kind of behavior will devastate the “democracy of United States.” Deans continues that we take a long look at all the Republican candidates and see who would best be a puppet to this neo conservative thinking and “that will be the one that administration will align with,” unless something doesn’t change. If one is questioning this, he asks that we seek the records, the policies, the behaviors and the comments by those who were in New York when Giuliani was mayor and especially the consequences leading up to and after 9/11.

In his section entitled, “Repairing Government, restoring the proper process”, Dean states

Frankly I hoped that Bush would let Libby off, as it would serve as aparticularly egregious conspicuous example of the republic double standard.The authoritarians do as say not as I do mentality voters understandhypocrisy and another solid abuse of process and power could only help the Democrats get back into the White house. Having watched the GOPevolution, as it embraces the radicalism of the authoritarian conservatism,slowly seeding control to most strident faction the authoritarian conservatismI can no longer recognize the party. These new conservative leaders havenot only sought to turn back the clock but to return to a time before theenlightenment when there were no clocks. As former President Al Gorenicely stated republicans have under taken assault on reason. Indeedthey have rejected their own reason philosophy by ignoring conservatismteachings based on well documented history about the dangers ofconcentration on powers. They have done so by focusing on the presidencyas the institution in which they wish to concentrate. The enormous powersof the federal government. Nixon led the way. And Reagan. Bush I andBush II learned from his (Nixon) mistakes. Nixon scowled as he scowledand secretly investigated his opponents in the name of national security;the GOP successors have smiled and reassured Americans they areoperating to protect them as they have proceeded to convert the Americanpresidency into elected monarchy with its own high counsel which was once knownas the federal judiciary.

Dean states that the problem with this kind of thinking is that the current Republican leadership doesn’t factor in the opinions and feelings of their conservative base, let alone the whole United States population. Neo-conservatives have their own agenda; will destroy any and all traditionalists and especially, liberal constituents in order to make their point. It is as though the government is being held hostage.

Dean refers to the 2008 presidential candidate Ron Paul as the exception for Republican Party although he doesn’t believe he has a chance of winning the Presidential nomination.
As for the Democrats, he believes the Democrats most authoritarian candidate, Hillary Clinton, doesn’t have anything as strong as the neo-conservative republican equivalent. He doesn’t suggest however, that the Democrats become authoritarians, “Democrats just aren’t good at it and can’t stand the pressure that would ensue.”

So, what is the solution? He is personally effecting change by traveling, lecturing and speaking on “talk radio stations”. “Americans need to become more proactive towards their leaders, write, call, email, and complain about what they are seeing, hearing, reading and believing. Dean asks us to question the leadership’s responsibility toward American values and identify those thinking clones. He says this is not the “Republican way”. And the long term effect, he says, will be a young generation of more progressive issue related voters who will be more liberal abandoning both parties.

I saw this as the implied “Shock and Awe” being played on all Americans. Reading this work caused me to close the book and throw it across the room. I thought that this is a Republican speaking, not a “crazed left winger of the Green Party standing on a street corner in mismatched clothing towing a rusted red Radio wagon full of literature.” I was, however, to finish the read to discover who more about who is calling the shots and who are these members of this fundamentalist movement.

Caution – before reading, I suggest you will need to think about your concept of government and democracy. You will notice that Dean implies that “democracy” and “religion” often as reasons used to defend the current administration’s policies. One seeking an understanding of the political structure will find this a very disheartening but an informative read. This book is like looking into a mirror and seeing ourselves for what we really are. You get to see all the pimples and the ridges in between. I hope this piece will encourage bipartisan “Proactive” approach is key to solving the separation of church, state, federal, legislative and executive powers for those who still believe in democracy.

Minerva L. Williams is a marketing representative for CornerStone America (Encino); event planner for Mighty Thunder Web Design/Marketing. Her career as a journalist (The Voyager, Pensacola Times); an advertising representative, mature market spokesperson, Los Angeles Times; business writer (North Valley Business Journal); a Youth/African American education and outreach coordinator finds her a new resident of the Santa Clarita Valley, living with her fiancé Todd.

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