“The Truths We Hold” and more delusions of grandeur- Amanda Green
I know, I know. I was supposed to continue my review/commentary on Kamala Harris’ so-called memoir, The Truths We Hold. I still plan to but, having come to the end of the free sample, I simply couldn’t bring myself to buy the book. Not only is it drastically over-priced for an e-book, but I don’t want to give a single penny to the woman. I especially don’t want to do it for a book that is nothing more than a thinly veiled campaign speech.
So, as I sat here this morning trying to figure out what to write about, I let my fingers do the walking through the internet. There were the expected stories about Cory “I am Spartacus” Booker declaring he’s going to run for president. How many memes will that generate? Then there was the story about Elizabeth “Fauxcahauntus” Warren apologizing to the Cherokee Nation for claiming to be Native American (about time, says this descendant of someone born on the Trail of Tears). There are so many Democrats already lining up for their chance to unseat Trump that you already need a scorecard.
Hell, you know it’s going to be bad when Rolling Stone lists 15—FIFTEEN—campaign books “you need to know” for the upcoming election.
And no, I am not going to read all 15. I value my life and my sanity too much to do that. Still, curiosity had me looking to see what Rolling Stone had to say.
I probably shouldn’t be surprised that they started out with Harris’ book. Right now, she is the darling of the Left, right down to all the comparisons she’s been getting to Obama. Rolling Stone says the books walks us through her “really impressive resumé” while clearly contrasting herself with Trump. Duh. Of interest is the little hint of displeasure when Rolling Stone notes that the book might leave you wanting because, while more personal that her previous book, it is still a “hyper-polished” look at her life and career. In other words, it is a campaign speech and not a real insight into who she is and what she holds important on a personal level.
Rolling Stone isn’t the only publication to come to that conclusion. Time has a rather lengthy discussion of the book online. Early on, it echoes my own sentiments, not only about this particular book but all books by politicians coming out at the beginning of a presidential election cycle:
“These books are never great literature. Harris moves through the steps of her own life at a dizzying pace, like a harried screenwriter trying to cram a 1,000-page novel into an hour and a half movie. But if books like this aren’t great for readers, they are helpful for voters, who can gain some insight through seeing which issues and personal stories their authors deems important enough to highlight. (One helpful point in Harris’ case: her name is pronounced comma-la.)”
That one paragraph sums up what I’ve seen of the book. This is a book of political talking points interspersed with personal stories, “highly polished” personal stories meant to influence voters. My suggestion? Remember that and consider her relationship with Willie Brown and his admission recently that not only did they sleep together but that he might have helped further her career.
I will return to the book when it is available for download from the library. I’m currently #3 on the waiting list, so probably in the next week or so.
But what else does Rolling Stone, in its infinite liberal mindset, say we should read before the next election?
Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship and Purpose by Joe Biden. Unlike Harris’ book, this one isn’t new. It is also a book that can be seen as humanizing Biden by recounting his relationship with his late son. It is, in short, a very different side of Biden than that of the vice-president who couldn’t seem to keep his hands to himself that we came to know during the Obama administration.
Next up from Rolling Stone is Elizabeth Warren’s This Fight is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America’s Middle Class. Pardon me while I laugh hysterically. Like Biden’s book, it came out in 2017. Unlike “Promise Me, Dad”, it is not a personal memoir but a purely political one. It is also obvious, reading the blurb for the book, that she was gearing up for 2020. Get a load of this from the Amazon product page:
Warren grew up in Oklahoma, and she’s never forgotten how difficult it was for her mother and father to hold on at the ragged edge of the middle class. An educational system that offered opportunities for all made it possible for her to achieve her dream of going to college, becoming a teacher, and, later, attending law school. But now, for many, these kinds of opportunities are gone, and a government that once looked out for working families is instead captive to the rich and powerful. Seventy-five years ago, President Franklin Roosevelt and his New Deal ushered in an age of widespread prosperity; in the 1980s, President Ronald Reagan reversed course and sold the country on the disastrous fiction called trickle-down economics. Now, with the election of Donald Trump—a con artist who promised to drain the swamp of special interests and then surrounded himself with billionaires and lobbyists—the middle class is being pushed ever closer to collapse.
Saint Franklin and his New Deal. Evil Ronnie Reagan. Con artist Trump. No, she didn’t have a single agenda when writing the book. If you believe that, I have this piece of land in Florida to sell you. At least there’s no mention of her Native American ancestry. I wonder if there was originally and it has now been excised out.
And Rolling Stones’ list just keeps getting better—or worse, depending on your point of view. There are books by Julian Castro and Bernie Sanders, Amy Klobuchar and Cory Booker. Among some of the others listed are John Hickenlooper, Sherrod Brown, Kirsten Gillibrand, Michael Bloomberg and Starbucks’ own Howard Schultz. There’s even a mention of South Bend mayor Peter Buttigieg’s upcoming book. Now, raise your hands, until some of these folks tossed their hats in the ring, how many of you had heard of them? And how many are going to sit down and read what they (or, more likely, their ghostwriters) have to say about how evil our country is and what they can do to “fix” it?
Two books did catch my eye—but not in the way that I’m going to rush out to read them. The first is John “Lurch” Kerry’s Every Day is Extra. This is another of those horribly over-priced e-books publishers hope will help drive e-book sales through the floor and reinvigorate print sales. Priced at basically $17, this is Kerry’s story of his “remarkable life.” Gag me. The only thing tempting me to read this is to find out what he has to say about Hillary since she is glaringly left out of the list of folks he remembers fondly or with humor in the book description.
The second book to catch my eye was Dealing Death and Drugs: The Big Business of Dope in the U.S. and Mexico. This book, published in 2011, by Beto O’Rourke and fellow (sister?) city council member Susie Byrd. The topic shouldn’t be any surprise to those who have followed the skateboarding wunderkind’s run for Senate. The war on drugs doesn’t work. Just look at Cuidad Juarez. (Mind you, I agree in a lot of ways that the war on drugs has been far from successful.) My questions about this book come down to how much of it did Beto Baby really write and does he ever come out with a solid stance on anything? Or is this more of the same sidestep shuffle we saw during the campaign?
Why, you might ask, did Rolling Stone include this aged book, relatively speaking, with all the others? Because they are sure he will be running, or at least be someone’s running mate, and he hasn’t yet released his “get-t0-know-me” book. Really, Rolling Stone is showing its age. Doesn’t it realize all those livestream videos on Facebook Beto posted were his version of that? VBEG
I guess this has all been a pre-coffee way of saying I just wasn’t up to more Kamala Harris this morning. But, now that I’ve seen what the other side has out there in the way of other books to read, I am truly worried for the state of my sanity and my liver. I’ll finish the Harris book. Then I’ll start something else. But what? Which of the books from the Rolling Stone article would you like me to take on?
Or how about his? Why don’t we start pulling together our own list of books by conservative or libertarian candidates that we think voters should read before the 2020 primaries? Leave your comments below and we’ll see just how far my sanity and liver can go before I throw in the towel and declare defeat.