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No Apology: The Case for American Greatness…
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No Apology: The Case for American Greatness

by Mitt Romney

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I thought this book was well written and full of information. Although it was a little too packed full of information, statistics and facts at times and became dry. There was a lot of history included and I thought Mr. Romney did a pretty good job of explaining his opinions and reasons for his stances on various issues. It was still a campaigning tool, but I thought it was quite clear that this man truly does care about America and our future. ( )
  Barb_H | Apr 4, 2013 |
I was no fan of Mitt Romney going into this book (not that I'm a fan of Obama either), but for a while I thought he might not be as bad as I thought...then I read a little further, and it turns out he's actually even worse.

Romney does a good job of criticizing Obama on some issues, such as foreign policy, on which he rightly calls him out for his tendency to apologize to our enemies and alienate our allies. And he gives an interesting discussion of foreign powers with whom our national interests clash (or may in the near future), doing a pretty good job on violent Jihadists, Russia, and to a lesser extent China. But it all goes downhill from there.

His own foreign policy plans are just an extension of the neo-conservative policies of the Bush administration, which really weren't that different from Obama's policies. He expresses contempt for the appeasement of Chamberlain and admiration for Churchill, but his idea of a strong national defense is to build more schools in Lebanon like Hezbollah (for whose healthcare system he has also expressed admiration) and give free cataract surgeries to South Americans like Castro. He wants to send 100,000 more troops to Afghanistan, presumably to build more schools there too, which we will then likely turn over to the Taliban. How is this not appeasement? It's certainly viewed that way by the Jihadists! But I guess it's hardly surprising in view of his incessant calls for "sacrifice" (which seems to be his favorite word, followed closely by "power")---it's presumably sacrifice for the good of the nation that he primarily intends, but by extension I guess we're supposed to sacrifice for the good of the entire globe, including those who would harm us, because they would.

His energy policy is equally bewildering. He seems to hate our "addiction" to oil (he uses that term multiple times) even more than Obama, going even further and describing it, in the morally-charged language of Deadly Sins, as oil "gluttony". He also writes that he believes in man-made global warming and thinks that government policy should be used to reduce carbon emissions. But he rejects several proposed methods of doing so, writing that in particular "Cap-and-trade is an energy tax disguised in the sheep's clothing of market terminology" and states that he "didn't sign on" to carbon emissions caps as governor of Massachusetts.

But this is a flat-out lie. As governor, Romney implemented the first state carbon emissions cap in 2005, and then an energy price cap to try and stop the big increase in prices that would result from the emissions cap, advised in all this by Obama's chief science adviser, John Holdren. As a result, energy production in Massachusetts has declined sharply and international energy imports have gone up even more dramatically. So much for his repeated claims that he wants to reduce our foreign oil dependence...I guess that's just one more thing we have to sacrifice for some alleged "greater good". And his rejection of cap-and-trade as a tax in disguise is incredibly disingenuous, given that he is not above such underhanded methods...in the book he describes how he did exactly that sort of thing with his state's Medicaid "reforms", requiring some seniors to pay a fee that he simply doesn't call a tax. And then of course there's Romneycare's individual mandate, which is an even more insidious tax "disguised in the sheep's clothing of market terminology," but he for some reason neglects to even mention the mandate in his lengthy discussion of his plan for healthcare reform and how he implemented it in his state.

Turning to that subject, he criticizes Obamacare as a step toward a "single-payer system", which he says incentivizes doctors to practice defensive medicine and order all kinds of unnecessary tests and procedures, driving healthcare costs up. He advocates instead a "single-fee system", in which doctors receive a flat rate per patient. But this would obviously incentivize doctors to order as few tests and procedures as they could possibly get away with, which might reduce costs in the short-term but would be even worse for quality of care, sacrificing the latter for the sake of the former---and in the long-run, would simply be approaching the same destination of government control over healthcare from a different angle. He calls this a "free-market approach", but that's ridiculous...rather than letting the free market operate, he simply wants to dictate his own preferred controls over it. He doesn't think there's anything wrong with the government running the healthcare industry, he just thinks that he can run it better than the other guy. Maybe he can, but by that point it's a marginal issue.

There are similar problems with pretty much every issue he discusses, from education to banking. He claims that his approach is "market-oriented", but in every case it's not getting the government out of these areas but simply tinkering with existing regulations, replacing them with his own slightly modified version (which is exactly what he would do with Obamacare, not repeal it in any meaningful sense). On the bailouts and "stimulus" packages, he supported the ones done by the Bush administration, but not those done by Obama...so in other words, he completely buys into the Keynesian notion that the government can "stimulate" the economy by spending lots of money (taxed from the private sector...), he would just spend it on different programs than the Democrats, and he's not against bailing out Wall Street, he just thinks we should be bailing out HIS buddies, not the other guy's. This should give serious pause to anyone considering casting their ballot for Romney. It's what is sometimes called "crony capitalism" at its worst, though in fact it's not capitalism at all...there's another name for it.

Mitt Romney is a fascist. Literally, that is not hyperbole. By definition, in that he represents the preservation of private property in name only with actual state control over the economy. Together with the rhetoric of incessant calls for the sacrifice of the individual to the nation, he's a textbook case. Watching his campaign is sort of like seeing Sinclair Lewis's It Can't Happen Here play out in real life. This might be hard to recognize, as it's true that he's not radically different from what's come before; rather, he's the next step in a sort of creeping fascism.

And in Romney's case, it's a religious brand of fascism. It's true that he generally avoids talking too specifically about religion on the campaign trail, as his own is still somewhat outside the cultural mainstream (though the fact that he's a serious contender for president, which would not have been possible even a decade ago, shows how far it has come), but in the book his religiosity is somewhat more apparent. And his frequent talk of "American exceptionalism" doesn't simply mean that he believes there is something uniquely good about America's founding principles---for him, it means that he thinks that America is literally ordained by God to serve a special purpose in the world. And after dubiously trying to make America out to be a Christian nation, he writes, "Not all Americans believe in a Creator, yet in my experience, even most of those who don't nevertheless believe in a purpose greater than ourselves---perhaps our family, our community, or the nation itself. People who have purpose in their lives are more willing to sacrifice for others..." When a presidential candidate is talking this much about sacrifice, you can bet it's because things under him are about to get really bad.

And I haven't even mentioned some of the worse things in the book...for instance, his discussion of what he calls "the Worst Generation". He rightly says that the burden of debt his generation is leaving to its descendants is immoral...but I found this absolutely outrageous and it made me hate him even more, as if he is elected he will be one of the worst offenders, further entrenching it, perhaps irreversibly. For all his talk of fiscal responsibility, he is a big-government spender, and has no real plan to get our federal government's runaway spending and mountain of debt under control. But since he (or at least his running mate, whose own modest budget proposals he has disavowed) is viewed as a "budget hawk," he moves that debate further to the left and further away from the possibility of real solutions.

And then there's his comment about the "forty-seven percent" who don't pay any taxes (actually forty-nine in the book...obviously nobody's been reading it, since it's been out a couple of years but this didn't become a big deal until the "secret video" was recently leaked), which are not only incredibly offensive, but just plain wrong. Among other things, most of the people who don't pay federal income tax in this country are either retirees, or young people or immigrants in low-paying jobs, most of whom will move up into a higher bracket at some point and start paying those taxes...but in the meantime, they're still paying into Social Security and Medicare, and those funds can be used for other federal expenditures as well, so the picture he paints of nearly half of Americans as worthless moochers is truly outrageous.

His discussion of abortion is also deeply wrong, based on pure religious nonsense. He writes: "But in any decision about whether to end a pregnancy, we must remember that two lives are involved, and own this point, courts have been long and conspicuously silent. Because the fact is that two lives, not one, is involved, I am unapologetically pro-life. Both mother and child are human beings, but only one does not yet have a voice to defend itself.... For all the conflicting views on this issue, it speaks well of our country that we recognize abortion as problem. The law may call it a right, but no one ever called it *good*, and, in the quiet of conscience people of both political parties know that more than a million abortions a year cannot be squared with the good heart of America." I think that speaks for itself. (And incidentally, *I* would call abortion---or to be more precise, a woman's freedom to make her own reproductive decisions---GOOD.) And Romney says several other things in the final chapters of the book that I found so personally offensive that I can't even discuss them.

(And I just have to add a note about the audio edition: listening to Romney read his own book is painful. I could hardly stand it after the first sentence. He sounds like some crazy amalgamation of George W. Bush, Tom Brokaw, and some creepy General Authority of the LDS church. So do yourself a favor and DON'T get the audiobook!)

So, Romney is basically a fascist with socialist leanings, and Obama is basically a socialist with fascist leanings---both of them as a consequence of their religious zealotry. Take your pick, America! Although there is actually a third choice...which is why I strongly recommend reading this, Obama's The Audacity of Hope, and Gary Johnson's Seven Principles of Good Government (which is less in-depth than Romney's book, but far more principled), and come to your own conclusions. ( )
  AshRyan | Oct 4, 2012 |
A bit preachy (and too moral) at times but a good read that does a good job of reminding us, in certain areas, of why America is great ... and how it could be greater. ( )
  emlzcole | Dec 1, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312609809, Hardcover)

On his first presidential visit to address the European nations, President Obama felt it necessary to apologize for America’s international power.  He repeated that apology when visiting Latin America, and again to Muslims worldwide in an interview broadcast on Al-Arabiya television.

In No Apology, Mitt Romney asserts that American strength is essential—not just for our own well-being, but for the world’s.  Governments such as China and a newly-robust Russia threaten to overtake us on many fronts, and radical Islam continues its dangerous rise.  Drawing on history for lessons on how great powers collapse, Romney shows how and why our national advantages have eroded.  From the long-term decline of our manufacturing base, our laggard educational system that has left us without enough engineers, scientists, and other skilled professionals, our corrupted financial practices that led to the current crisis, and the crushing impact of entitlements on our future obligations, America is in debt, overtaxed, and unprepared for the challenges it must face.

We need renewal: fresh ideas to cut through complicated problems and restore our strength.  Creative and bold, Romney proposes simple solutions to rebuild industry, create good jobs, reduce out of control spending on entitlements and healthcare, dramatically improve education, and restore a military battered by eight years of war.  Most important, he calls for a new commitment to citizenship, a common cause we all share, rather than a laundry list of individual demands.  Many of his solutions oppose President Obama’s policies, many also run counter to Republican thinking, but all have one strategic aim: to move America back to political and economic strength. 

Personal and dynamically-argued, No Apology is a call to action by a man who cares deeply about America’s history, its promise, and its future. 

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:02:56 -0400)

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The former Republican presidential candidate asserts that both his own party and the Obama administration are failing to confront the critical issues that face the United States, and charts a course for a better future.

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