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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 8/5/09

Book Review - The Conscience of a Libertarian by Wayne Allyn Root

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I had the pleasure of meeting Wayne Allyn Root in what is called the Green Room deep in the bowels of the NewsCorp building in Manhattan where Fox News is headquartered. Wayne was going on the segment before me on Neil Cavuto's "Your World" and was giving the opposite point of view on the CBO's healthcare numbers. Wayne is an affable and energetic fellow. He was the Libertarian Party's Vice Presidential nominee in 2008 and is the presumed front-runner for that party's 2012 Presidential nomination.

Wayne's book, "The Conscience of a Libertarian: Empowering the Citizen Revolution with God, Guns, Gambling & Tax Cuts." has just come out in hardback and I picked it up a few days ago. Let me get out of the way the fact that, as a Democrat, I disagree with about 55% of Libertarian philosophy and thus a similar proportion of the ideas in the book. That doesn't alter the fact that the book is a good read and it is an important one to read for several reasons.

First, if you are not familiar with the Libertarian belief system, you should run, not walk to your local bookstore and buy the book. It is a great introduction to Libertarianism. I've read most of Ayn Rand's books (a few, including Atlas Shrugged and the Fountainhead several times). I'm also very familiar with Barry Goldwater's statements and beliefs. Even with that background, Root's book is a good refresher in Libertarian thought.

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Second, since Wayne will be a Presidential candidate, it is important to know about him and what he believes. True, he is going to be a third party candidate, but we are all selling ourselves short if we don't take the time to learn about third parties and their candidates if for no other reason to be sure we are making the best possible choice on election day.

Third, Ayn Rand, Goldwater, et al, wrote and spoke about Libertarianism over 40 years ago. While Wayne would argue (and does in his book) that the ideas remain valid, updating them with modern issues and current politicians gives a much fresher and down to earth look at Libertarianism.

One of the great aspects of the book is the stories about Wayne's personal background. We learn, for instance, that Wayne is an S.O.B. No, I am not insulting him; it is how he refers to himself when he relates that he is the "Son of a Butcher". We learn about how he rose from a working class background to the financial success he is today. We also learn that Wayne has an interesting tie to President Obama and a not altogether different childhood.

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Wayne's working class roots come through in the book. The book is not meant to be a PhD dissertation. Some of the criticism on the web is from those readers who were looking for a more complex discussion regarding Libertarian concepts. The book is meant to be read and understood by everyone.

Wayne is a critic of both the Democratic and Republican Parties. He believes that both spend too much money, the only difference is a matter of degree. Root's heroes are Ronald Reagan, Ayn Rand and Barry Goldwater. He believes that if Reagan was an active politician today, he would leave the Republican Party and join the Libertarians.

Like all Libertarians, he believes that taxes are too high and that government takes in more money, grows bigger, and does more things in order to gain power over our lives. He believes that all of our problems can be solved by getting government out of the way and allowing private enterprise and ingenuity to do what it does best.

In a few days, I'll publish a follow-up to this article in the form of a short interview with Wayne. In the meantime, head down to the bookstore and buy the book or if you prefer, order it from Amazon via this link - .


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A political blogger for the International Business Times, Steve Leser is a hot national political pundit. He has appeared on MSNBC's Coundown with Keith Olbermann, Comedy Central's Daily Show with Jon Stewart and Russia Today's (RT) Crosstalk with (more...)
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