I’ve been struggling with this post for almost a week now for a couple of reasons.
One is that I had previously said that I don’t want my blog to become political. The reason for that is that I’m not heavily involved in politics and I work in an industry that is. Many librarians, in general, have political opinions that differ from my own, and it’s not something that I like to discuss. It sometimes becomes pretty lonely.
The second is that this book review is written by an author who isn’t exactly endeared by all. I have a feeling that some may take a look at the post title and skip reading it altogether.
Then I decided that if you can’t express your own opinions on your own blog, what’s the point of having one? Besides, I’m not Mary Poppins and this is the real world. So, here we go…
Love him or hate him, Bill O’Reilly wrote “Culture Warrior” in 2006. Disturbed by what he feels is the division of the United States into political camps, O’Reilly makes the assertion that the battle is between “Secular Progressives” and “Traditionalists”.
Traditionalists are, just as the word sounds, in favor of conservative values. They see the United States as a successful country and don’t feel that radically changing the culture is either necessary nor helpful to the survival of traditional values.
Secular Progressives (or S-P’s) do not embrace traditional values and would like to see the US to be a completely secular nation. Full of self loathing, the S-P’s feel that the US is much to blame for the state that it’s in, and yet, desire more government.
Believe it or not, I really found this book to be interesting. (Insert disbelieving comment here…)
For one, I am in total agreement with O’Reilly and his opinion on celebrities and their completely off base and stilted view of politics. Some of the things that they say are totally wacky and, quite frankly, irresponsible. (Think Rosie O’Donnell and her take on 9/11…).
Celebrities are the very last people I would ask an opinion of and yet they seem to always be in the news spouting off. In the words of another conservative writer, shut up and sing (or, shut up and act).
The chapter devoted to keeping children safe was truly scary. O’Reilly recounted the story of a young girl who was raped on a weekly basis for four years, beginning when she was six years old, by a friend of her parents. The judge who sentenced the rapist gave him sixty days in jail because he believed in “restorative justice”. He truly felt that this man needed help and shouldn’t be severely punished for his crime.
The ruling was finally overturned and the rapist received a total of three years in prison. So much for progress and the rights of children.
I also agree that America appears to be divided as well. If you’re passionate on either side, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of tolerance either.
That being said, despite the fact that (in my humble opinion) most Americans end up somewhere in the middle on many issues, we are bombarded with information from extremists.
Although I generally liked this book and appreciated the fact that O’Reilly has the guts to speak out against the media and other S-P factions, his “warrior/martyr” slant got a bit tiring after a while. In fact, it was so overdone in some parts that it made him sound slightly paranoid.
Also, a lot has happened since 2006, so this book could use an update. I don’t watch O’Reilly’s show, so I don’t know what his latest opinions on the economic crisis in the US or the government are at this point. I think that a new look at the US would be good idea.
At the very least, it would be entertaining.