Let me clarify something right up front: I think DEMOCRACY DENIED: HOW OBAMA IS IGNORING YOU AND BYPASSING CONGRESS TO RADICALLY TRANSORM AMERICA – AND HOW TO STOP HIM is inappropriately titled. This is not to say that Phil Kerpen’s book doesn’t highlight some frightening actions of President Obama, cabinet secretaries, and the various unelected czars and policy advisors of his administration; it does – at great length, at great effectiveness – but Kerpen’s sharp analysis also indicts members of Congress (of both stripes) who, for far too long, have allowed Presidents to expand the authority of the Executive Branch while gradually whittling at the influence the Legislative Branch should have exercised in oversight. Sure, this is presently as much Obama’s fault as it is Congress’s, but this reduction-in-power has been going on throughout several administrations. It’s high time someone threw some national light on this, and Kerpen’s book could not come at a better time.
If anything, Kerpen’s greatest arguments here expose the fundamental problem of representative government: for too long, elected officials have been at work creating organizations and agencies unaccountable to the electorate at large. These groups are then given authority to “craft” regulations that, debatably, produce negative effects on individuals and business; in most cases, the sum total of these regulations cause an economic to constrict, curtailing – if not downright eliminating – the potential for expansion and growth. Undoing these untenable regulations becomes increasingly difficult as these agencies continue to justify their existence by producing greater and greater revenues, fueling the politicians’ need to spend more money on the demands of their constituents or at the behests of their lobbyists. This is the cycle of bloated government, and Kerpen’s dissection of this process underscores that government – when driven by ANY ideology – is a bad thing for most of the people it represents. Certainly, it’s bad for the majority.
Thankfully, nothing escapes Kerpen’s review, and DEMOCRACY DENIED covers all of the political ‘hot button’ topics. He exposes the EPA’s attempts to establish global warming as a reality when the science has not definitely maintained the same. He examines the FCC’s ongoing attempts – with some lobbying on the part of service providers – to regulate the internet. He dismantles the logic behind the unions’ hope to make ‘card check’ the accepted norm. He outlines the shortcomings of ObamaCare and the latest round of financial regulations tied to Dodd-Frank. He reveals what’s wrong with the administration’s current position on ‘renewable’ energies and ‘green’ technologies. He explores the fraudulent reasons behind government land grabs. And he even highlights why every citizen should be suspicious of any politician’s claim to conduct “comprehensive regulation reform.” No party is beyond examination here, and, while Kerpen clearly comes down on one side of the political coin, he makes convincing and persuasive arguments for the reader to think twice before casting a ballot in any election.
For me, though, the book had one big formatting distraction: for some reason, the writer or the editor felt it necessary to include these “text boxes” drawing attention to relevant quotes, phrases, or arguments. This is done, roughly every three to give pages. When I’ve seen this done elsewhere (in other books), it’s generally been included to add additional prose (and attention) to the author’s point; when it’s done in DEMOCRACY DENIED, it’s simply text already included on the page, making the box-out redundant. After awhile, I thought it was more of a distraction than it was any effective tool. Perhaps that’s my own shortcoming as I consider myself a pretty deliberate (think “slow”) reader; I just don’t think this technique much advanced the book’s central position is all. It’s a small complaint, but I thought it worth mentioning.
In conlusion, I think Phil Kerpen, as Vice President for Policy at Americans for Prosperity, has written a brilliant book. Certainly, it’s immensely informative and relevant for our modern times. It isn’t so much “activist literature” as it has been called elsewhere as it is a great education to how things happen in Washington. Quite possibly, the book is titled solely to capitalize on the present American mood. While denouncing Obama’s tactics, Kerpen may end up negatively impacting some possible consumers when his core message is one that, quite probably, any reasonable thinker from any political persuasion could embrace. It’s about a markedly smaller but vastly more effective central government. It’s a call for less intrusive federal legislation with elected representatives far more accountable to the voters who sent them to Washington. It’s a hope for a greatly expanded economic boom not prohibited by burdensome legislation. And, lastly, it’s a gameplan for personal liberties to triumph over the tyranny of government regulation.
In the interests of clarity, I’m pleased to disclose that the book’s publisher, BenBella Books, graciously provided me with a copy of DEMOCRACY DENIED for the purposes of this review.
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What? You don't know enough about me from the picture? Get a clue! I'm a graduate from the School of Hard Knocks! You can find me around the web as "Trekscribbler" or "Manchops". … more
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“This is a must-read for everyone who values our nation’s bedrock principles. What Obama is trying to unilaterally impose on the American people is nothing short of regulatory tyranny. Phil Kerpen breaks down the Obama administration’s regulatory onslaught and shows those of us who love the Constitution what we can do about it.” —Mark Levin, bestselling author and nationally syndicated radio host
“Phil Kerpen offers both a warning and a lesson about a radical minority and its concerted efforts to control the lives and voices of all Americans. Democracy Denied is a literal guidebook on the progressive game plan—now it’s up to us to heed the warning.” —Glenn Beck, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“Democracy Denied demonstrates how President Obama is packing federal agencies with handpicked liberal activists who are rewarding campaign allies, punishing opponents, and pushing the failed Keynesian fiscal policies Americans rejected at the ballot box in 2010. Phil Kerpen’s must-read book provides much-needed solutions to the unaccountable bureaucrats who seek to control what cars we drive, the foods we eat, and even the lights we use.” —U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina)
“Obama is on a mission—to conceal his socialist record behind a veil of moderation. Phil Kerpen pierces that veil and shows the Obama beneath. He has broken the Obama code.” —Dick Morris, Fox ...