American Individualism: How a New Generation of Conservatives Can Save the Republican Party

Hoover, Margaret

Published by Crown Forum, 2011
ISBN 10: 0307718158 / ISBN 13: 9780307718150
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Margaret Hoover has been a lifelong member of the Republican Party. She grew up a self-described “ditto head.” She worked in the White House for President George W. Bush. Today she is a political commentator for Fox News, where, as one of Bill O’Reilly’s Culture Warriors, she regularly champions the conservative cause. She also happens to be the great-granddaughter of the thirty-first president of the United States, Herbert Hoover. These impeccable conservative credentials underscore the gravity of her deep-seated concerns about the future of the Republican Party. Her party, she believes, has fallen dangerously out of step with the rising generation of young Americans.
   In American Individualism, Margaret Hoover chal-lenges the up-and-coming millennial generation to take another look at the Republican Party. Although millennials rarely identify themselves as Republicans, Hoover contends that these young men and women who helped elect President Barack Obama are sympathetic to the fundamental principles of conservatism. She makes a compelling case for how the GOP can right itself and capture the allegiance of this group. She believes that her party is uniquely positioned to offer solutions for the most pressing problems facing America—skyrocketing debt and deficits, crises in education and immigration, a war against Islamist supremacy—but that it is held back by the outsize influence within the party of social and religious conservatives. 
   American Individualism is Hoover’s call to action for Republicans to embrace a conservatism that emphasizes individual freedom both in economic policy and in the realm of social issues in order to appeal to the new generation of voters. The Republican Party, Hoover asserts, can win the support of the millennials while at the same time remaining faithful to conservative principles. In a journey that is both political and personal, Hoover rediscovers these bedrock conservative values in the writings of her great-grandfather, President Herbert Hoover, who emphasized the vital importance of individual freedom to the American way of life and who sought to strike a delicate balance in identifying the limited yet essential role the federal government should play in the lives of Americans. 
   Margaret Hoover advocates a conservatism that is fully consistent with the original impulses of the American conservative movement. It evokes her great-grandfather’s emphasis on the values of civic responsibility and service to others—instincts instilled in the millennial generation. She argues that the Republican Party today must evolve in order to achieve greatness, and that it can do so without compromising its tried-and-true fundamental principles. On the contrary, those enduring principles, if consistently applied, will enable the party to attract a younger following. 
   An impassioned and persuasive political manifesto grounded in twentieth-century history and targeted at
the most perplexing problems of the twenty-first century, Margaret Hoover’s American Individualism offers provocative ideas not just for reinvigorating the Republican Party but also for strengthening America in the decades ahead.

Praise for American Individualism:

“It is not her great grandfather’s Republican party anymore. And Margaret Hoover has written a book that old Herbert would enjoy. Sassy, opinionated, and smart, Ms. Hoover shakes up conventional GOP wisdom.” 
—Bill O’Reilly, Anchor, Fox News Channel
 
“Margaret Hoover, a fresh and brilliant young voice in the Republican Party, is bent on connecting the GOP to rising generations of the young. She has something to say to their elders, too. They'd best hear her.”
—Peggy Noonan, columnist, Wall Street Journal

“Margaret Hoover's American Individualism is a must read for every member of the Republican party—elected or otherwise—as a new generation of Republicans try to shine new light on who exactly we should be.”
—Meghan McCain, author of Dirty Sexy Politics

Review: Guest Reviewer: John Calvin Batchelor on American Individualism by Margaret Hoover

John Calvin Batchelor is the host of a top-rated national radio program, The John Batchelor Show. Based in New York City at WABC, it airs seven nights a week from 9PM to 1AM. He is the author of Ain't You Glad You Joined the Republicans? A Short History of the GOP, and eight novels, among them, Father's Day and The Birth of the People's Republic of Antarctica.

In American Individualism, Margaret Hoover focuses on what we know so far of the Millennial generation of 20- and 30-somethings who voted 2 to 1 for Barack Obama in 2008. The Millennials welcomed the campaigning Obama's theme of hope and change; yet today they often feel ignored and helpless in the Great Recession and the stagnant Obama administration recovery. Margaret Hoover argues that the Millennials are now open to either of the major parties--or to no politics at all--and that the Republicans can gain the loyalty of the next generation of leaders by emphasizing tolerance, certainty and common sense. Margaret Hoover opens her quest with an anecdote from the 2004 election of George W. Bush, when she realized that the Republicans were deaf to the ambitions and assumptions of the youngest voters with issues as critical as same-sex marriage, immigration, and abortion, and she turned to this extended essay to correct the errors. Margaret Hoover is the great-granddaughter of President Herbert Hoover; she speaks carefully of Hebert Hoover's essay by the same title as this book, "American Individualism," which Hoover published in 1922 while he served the Harding administration as Secretary of Commerce. Herbert Hoover meant "American individualism" as a superior form of governance in competition with Communism, socialism, syndicalism, capitalism and autocracy. Margaret Hoover argues that her great-grandfather was an enthusiastic globalist who presented American individualism as an antidote to what he called "will-o'-the wisp of all breeds of socialism" that preaches altruism while it practices a cynical leveling that leaves bosses in charge.

Margaret Hoover emphasizes a reawakening of American individualism to counter the cynicism of the Federal government. Also, she joins her great-grandfather in seeing that American individualism is under assault not only by the dictator powers and the European Utopians but also by American politicians who aggrandize themselves with pious preaching of shared sacrifices, by which they mean higher taxes and fees on the so-called rich. Margaret Hoover is not uniformly rosy about the future: the Great Recession has frightened the young voters, the Millennials, into alienation and drift. Margaret Hoover does lay out a plan for attracting the Millennials with what she calls "competence over ideology." American Individualism is an edgily critical look at what the GOP is not doing or saying to attract the next generation. The elders of the GOP--I am one--will not welcome a change of music, but then growing old and moving on are not easy to accept. American Individualism is an earnest, often contrary, impatient measure of the GOP at the edge of another national election in which it can listen to the voice of Herbert Hoover through his great-granddaughter or it can lose the future electorate to Barack Obama and the Utopians.

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Title: American Individualism: How a New Generation...
Publisher: Crown Forum
Publication Date: 2011
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Very Good

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