Declaration of Independents

Kirkus Reviews: "An enthusiastic, entertaining libertarian critique of American politics"


Here's what Kirkus Reviews has to say about The Declaration of Independents:

A call to bring to government the same expansion of personal choice and freedom that has swept other areas of American life, through the application of libertarian principles….

In this rambunctious and rambling indictment of contemporary American politics, the authors gleefully tear into the Republican and Democratic parties, arguing that the spectacle of our horse-race politics is meaningless because regardless of what they say about themselves, both parties' actions expose them as spendthrifts in love with unwieldy centralized control. Gillespie and Welch believe this regime is tottering because voters—the "independents" celebrated in the title—increasingly reject party identification and because both parties have together spent the country into bankruptcy. The authors see salvation in a move to more libertarian principles, an independence from politics "in which a majority, however slim, acquires the right to control the lives and property of the minority."…

An enthusiastic, entertaining libertarian critique of American politics, brimming with derision for the status quo and optimism for the future and confident of the right direction….

The review (which is online behind a paywall here) isn't uncritical—Kirkus scolds us for leaving "unstated exactly…how [reform] is to be accomplished, beyond exuding a sunny confidence in innovation and markets unconstrained by government controls" and hawking "discouragingly shopworn" policy prescriptions for fixing K-12 education, health care, and entitlements.

I hope that readers will find Matt's and my insistence on decentralizing and democratizing power to individuals is more than simple "sunny confidence"—it's a framework for addressing the lagging areas in our lives. Similarly, our stress in the final section of the book ("Operationalize it, Baby!") on injecting real choice into some of the most personal parts of our lives is sadly not shopworn. It's barely been tried yet!