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Monday, September 17, 2007

Crazies to the left of Me, Wimps to the Right: How One Side Lost It's Mind and the Other Lost Its Nerve

Bernie Goldberg is a frustrated man and his new book speaks to, and for, the millions of Americans who feel the same as him about the current state of politics in this country. On the one hand, Goldberg sees a political party that has allowed itself to be dominated by some of the most hate-filled crazies imaginable. On the other, he sees a party that has lost the courage to stand up for its conservative principles and has, instead, adopted the same big government, big spending ideas that it used to complain about in others.

Goldberg's personal journey from the left side of the political spectrum to its right side has been a long one. He grew up in the Bronx during the 1950s surrounded by his blue collar family, friends and neighbors and only knew of Republicans because he read about them in the newspaper. Even as a junior high school student, he knew that he wanted to become a newsman and he became the first in his family to go to college when he enrolled at Rutgers to prepare himself for that job. After college, Goldberg was lucky enough to get his dream job at CBS where he became an important, and liked, part of the CBS news team.

But about 1980 Goldberg began to realize that he was more comfortable with the policies of Republican president Ronald Reagan than he was with those of his beloved Democrats. His slow, inevitable move to the right had begun. By 1996 he could no longer contain his frustration and he wrote an op-ed piece for the Wall Street Journal about how television networks regularly slant their news broadcasts to the left. As a CBS insider he found that other insiders looked upon him as a traitor and that the op-ed piece was a bad career move. He left CBS News in July 2000 and wrote Bias, a bestselling book in which he discussed how liberals who dominate the most influential newsrooms in the country regularly slant the news in that direction.

Now Goldberg wonders where to turn next since the Republican Party has largely abandoned the principles that attracted him to that party in the first place. He sees a party that has decided that staying in power is more important than standing up for the core beliefs of its constituents, a party willing to outspend Democrats and to create an ever-bigger government if that will buy them the votes they need to win the next election. He doesn't see a dime's worth of difference between Democrats and Republicans anymore.

Crazies to the Left of Me, Wimps to the Right is Goldberg's wake up call to a political party that has lost its way. He has had it. He's tired of hypocritical Republicans who are trying to outspend Democrats, Republicans too cowardly to fight race baiters like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, Republicans who have abandoned conservatism. Like millions of conservatives, Goldberg wonders who represents him in Washington these days. He still believes that conservatives are correct on the important issues of the day but here he wonders out loud whether Republicans are. He uses his sense of humor to skewer both parties for their mistakes and flaws, but he sees as his best hope for the future a Republican Party that comes to its senses before it is too late. Time will tell if anyone is listening.

Rated at: 3.5
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