Liberal Hearts and Conservative Brains

 By Ron Lipsman

 The title of this book intrigued me and attracted me to read it, it is based loosely on the age old quote possibly of Churchill’s regarding being young and liberal and being old and conservative.  Unfortunately, Lipsman takes this quote from late 19th Century early 20th Century Britain and extrapalates to the current American political scene.  This doesn’t necessarily work as the “liberal” that Churchill was referring to and the current American “liberal” are different animals.  One could even argue that current liberal thought in the US is illiberal with it’s tendency to wish to ban, restrict and otherwise curtail personal liberty.  This is quite in contrast to the so called classical liberalism of the late 19th Century.

 This leads on to another criticism I have of this book Lipsman completely ignores libertarianism in the US with its combination of fiscal conservatism and laissez-faire attitude to social issues.  Granted Libertarians, unlike modern liberals, do not believe the state nor the tax payer should be responsible for the outcomes of personal choices.  I am not referring to the paulian paleo-conservatives mascarading as modern libertarianism.

Lipsman while simplifying in his analysis the divide between left and right, does have some interesting insights into the Jewish political experience in the US.  In fact, a book on the subject by him would possibly be far more useful than this tome.  However, that said, this is a well written book and quite a good read.  I am just not sure that it necessarily accomplishes the goal it set out to achieve.  It is quite interesting to see a mathematician attempt to analyse the political divide in the US.  His analysis is more either/or and sometimes ignores the other possible variables that affect the political discourse in the US.  I must stress it is an interesting read and I would recommend this book to those who are interested in reading analysis of the US political scene. 

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