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Books by and about 2020 presidential candidates
Crippled America,
by Donald J. Trump (2015)
Fire and Fury,
by Michael Wolff (2018)
Trump Revealed,
by Michael Kranish and Marc Fisher (2016)
The Making of Donald Trump,
by David Cay Johnston (2016)
Promise Me, Dad ,
by Joe Biden (2017)
The Book of Joe ,
by Jeff Wilser (2019; biography of Joe Biden)
The Truths We Hold,
by Kamala Harris (2019)
Smart on Crime,
by Kamala Harris (2010)
Guide to Political Revolution,
by Bernie Sanders (2017)
Where We Go From Here,
by Bernie Sanders (2018)
Our Revolution,
by Bernie Sanders (2016)
This Fight Is Our Fight,
by Elizabeth Warren (2017)
by Cory Booker (2016)
Conscience of a Conservative,
by Jeff Flake (2017)
Two Paths,
by Gov. John Kasich (2017)
Every Other Monday,
by Rep. John Kasich (2010)
Courage is Contagious,
by John Kasich (1998)
Shortest Way Home,
by Pete Buttigieg (2019)
by Michelle Obama (2018)
Higher Loyalty,
by James Comey (2018)
The Making of Donald Trump,
by David Cay Johnston (2017)
Higher Loyalty ,
by James Comey (2018)
Trump vs. Hillary On The Issues ,
by Jesse Gordon (2016)
Outsider in the White House,
by Bernie Sanders (2015)

Book Reviews

(from Amazon.com)

(click a book cover for a review or other books by or about the presidency from Amazon.com)

Rules for Conservatives
A Response to Rules for Radicals by Saul Alinsky

by Michael Charles Master

(Click for Amazon book review)

    Click on a participant to pop-up their full list of quotations
    from Rules for Conservatives, A Response to Rules for Radicals, by Michael Charles Master (number of quotes indicated):
  • Republican Party (6)
  • Tea Party (7)
    OR click on an issue category below for a subset.
BOOK REVIEW by OnTheIssues.org:

One of the classic works of left-wing political organizing is Saul Alinsky's 1971 Rules for Radicals. In 2012, Michael Charles Master offered his response with Rules for Conservatives. Fair enough. People on both sides of the political divide often say that healthy debate is good for the country. Liberals force conservatives to confront problems with the status quo, while conservatives insist on not rushing headlong into massive changes. Ideally, the two sides keep each other honest.

To be honest about Master's book--and to more fully mirror Alinsky's--it should have been called Rules for Reactionaries. It explains a lot about the gridlock American government has faced for a number of years now. Indeed, Master celebrates gridlock declaring, "When negotiating with liberals, gridlock is better than compromises that lose ground." [p. 135] His goal, he writes, is "to save America from destruction by liberal socialist tyrants." [p. 1]

Reading this is to step through the looking glass. It is a world where the left rules and conservatives--particular white Christians--are an oppressed class. Nearly a decade later, such sentiments are the norm on outlets like FOX News, NewsMax, and OAN, and far right politicians like Senator Ron Johnson and Representative Marjorie Taylor Green. In one passage, Master makes it clear who the enemy is in referring to Alinsky as "a liberal Jew who made a living by organizing people in his war against the established Christian white communities in America." [p.13]

As for his "rules," Master is clear that compromise is a dirty word, something that has been adopted by most of the current Republicans in Congress, and that the "New World Order" is coming to propagandize your children, impoverish the country by fighting climate change, and deny religious expression since "separation of church and state" is a myth outside the Constitution. To put such claims into context, Master is also an unrepentant "birther" who feels that former President Obama--whom he frequently refers to as Barack Hussein Obama-- covered up his actual citizenship and, in a 2011 letter to Donald Trump he includes in the book, suggests that Trump may have distracted people from the "real" issue. [p. 20-22] That issue is not Obama's birthplace, he asserts, but whether he ever held dual citizenship.

Several chapters focus on what he believes are core issues: guns, religion, children/education, free enterprise/private property, and taxation. His continual distortion of reality is obvious in the chapter on guns, where his quoting of the Second Amendment omits the first half of it entirely and begins in the middle with "the right of the people to keep and bear arms." After going through the usual paranoia about bans and confiscation, he admits that while he doesn't own any guns he thinks all conservatives should join and support the NRA. His argument is that if the right loses the fight over the Second Amendment, then the whole Constitution is put at risk.

Rules for Conservatives takes us inside the thought processes of one side of what can't even be called a debate. As long as compromise remains a dirty word to those on right, the gridlock Master champions will be the real rule of the day.

-- Daniel M. Kimmel, OnTheIssues.org editor, June 4, 2021
 OnTheIssues.org excerpts:  (click on issues for details)
    Republican Party: No middle ground when it comes to killing the unborn.
    Tea Party: GM sold out free enterprise and capitulated to unions.
    Republican Party: Neutralize governments' control of education.
    Tea Party: Taxes support school subjects you might not want taught.
Families & Children
    Republican Party: Tolerance of abortion & gay marriage sign of dying society.
Government Reform
    Tea Party: Impeach judges with unacceptable interpretations of law.
Gun Control
    Republican Party: The fight about guns is a fight about our Constitution.
    Tea Party: Unemployment insurance artificially props up wages.
Principles & Values
    Republican Party: Separation of church and state outside the Constitution.
    Tea Party: Negotiating with liberals: gridlock better than compromise.
    Tea Party: Where are bad places for political discussions? Nowhere.
    Tea Party: Sporting events reek of macho conservative values.
Tax Reform
    Republican Party: Government decreased individual rights through tax system.

The above quotations are from Rules for Conservatives
A Response to Rules for Radicals by Saul Alinsky

by Michael Charles Master
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Page last edited: Nov 25, 2021