About a month ago, Brian Sack, host of the excellent Glenn Beck TV (GBTV.com) show The B.S. of A., interviewed me about The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong with America, the book I co-wrote with Matt Welch. And because no conversation is complete without a zombie version of Thomas Jefferson, zombie Thomas Jefferson is part of the discussion. Literally. (While you're at it, check out Sack's book The B.S. of A.: A Primer in Politics for the Incredibly Disenchanted.)
In other Declaration of Indepedents news, the Cato Institute's Doug Bandow gives Matt and me props in his contribution to The American Spectator's list of "Books for Christmas":
…long ago I decided that politics was hopeless and we are all doomed. In The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong with America(PublicAffairs) Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch do their best to prove me wrong. I still think we are doomed, but I hope they are right when they pronounce: "the future will be so bright, we'll have to wear shades or, preferably, money-back-guaranteed optical implants with complimentary lifetime upgrades."
What Bandow sees as bracing optimism others sees as pleasant but irrelevant jawboning. Here's Mark Schmitt, a senior fellow at the Roosevelt Institute:
Early on in their book, for example, we're treated to a well-executed ten pages about the Velvet Underground and its influence on Czech dissidents in the 1980s—a fascinating subject, but one only tangentially related to American politics in 2011. (A later digression about the characters in a 1988 video game called Lee Trevino's Fighting Golf is hilariously even less relevant.)…
Matt's and my book is part of a larger discussion of folks who fantasize of a third-party insurgency (something we are at pains to ignore in the Declaration), so Schmitt either misses or slights our message that Americans are evacuating party affiliation as a primary identity. And he objects to our "stale premise" that the same sort of change that roiled the past 30 years of our non-political life is coming to the political sphere due to deficits and shortfalls at the federal, state, and local levels of government. Schmitt is having none of it.
The long-term federal deficit is indeed a problem to be solved, and there are lots of reasons to be concerned about it—but "we are so out of money" is a particularly misleading way to describe it. We can no more run out of money than we can run out of smiles. The United States has the good fortune to be sovereign in its own currency, which is to say that we can handle the current debt and much of the projected debt. At certain levels, there will be bad consequences, such as inflation, but we're nowhere near that point and certainly not "out of money."
His whole review is here, in Democracy: a Journal of Ideas.
BTW, if you're interested in reading an excerpt of the book, check out our piece about how the Velvet Underground and Vaclav Havel, the newly deceased former president of a free Czechoslovakia and Czech Republic, helped killed communism dead. If you like it, please buy the book!