Item description for Compassionate Conservatism: What it is, What it Does, and How it Can Transform America by Marvin Olasky & George W. Bush...
Overview Compassionate conservatism is a new political force in the land, sweeping the grassroots of people of all faiths, races, and ethnicities. In its parts it offers solutions to many of our most intractable problems; in its whole it is nothing less than an innovative philosophy of government. No author is more qualified to explain its power and promise than Marvin Olasky, described by The New York Times as "the godfather of compassionate conservatism." Compassionate conservatism offers a new paradigm for how the government can and should intervene in the economy. It begins with a long-lost premise about human behavior: economics, by itself, is not what changes lives. Only faith, and deeply held beliefs, can do that. For decades government has focused only on material well-being, ignoring the passions and convictions that make life worth living. What is conservative about the new movement is that its leaders also know that government cannot instill these beliefs. What it can do is help them flourish. It can give aid, inspiration, and direction to America's natural "armies of compassion" that have been a hallmark of our history since the founding. Compassionate conservatism offers a way to transcend the root problems that currently oppress too many deserving Americans. It offers a unique vision of the triangular relationship between the state, our many churches, and our tens of thousands of charities. It is a true reinvention of welfare, a wholesale revolution in the welfare state, and a redefinition of the social safety net. In Compassionate Conservatism Marvin Olasky takes us on a road trip with his son, Daniel, across the country, showing exactly how the new movement is unfolding. Along the way, he offers a set of principles, and a brief tour through history to show that these are not so much radically new ideas as rediscoveries of long-lost wisdom. Read this book for a blueprint of the future of politics and welfare in America.
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Marvin Olasky (PhD, American Culture, University of Michigan) is the editor-in-chief of World Magazine. He has been interviewed numerous times by the national media as the developer of the concepts of compassionate conservatism and biblically objective journalism and is the author of twenty books.
Marvin Olasky currently resides in Austin, in the state of Texas.
Marvin Olasky has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about Compassionate Conservatism: What it is, What it Does, and How it Can Transform America?
Mostly bluster Jun 16, 2005
"Compassionate Conservatism" by Olasky is a manifesto for a "bread-and-circus" ideology that grows more transparent by the day. Not surprisingly, it is heavy on rhetoric and light on substance.
The alliterative title is catchy, but "Bible-and-Business Conservatism" is more descriptive.
Religious zealots showing their true faces Aug 21, 2003
Terrible and a nauseating cover up for what is going on, an organized attempt to break the wall separating the state and religion. I lasted 10 pages. May be 9 pages too many
Maybe these zealots deserve a chance Mar 15, 2003
Compassionate conservatism is not a platitude but a distinct social program. It aims to help the poor without compromising conservative principles � very conservative principles, very religious conservative principles. Marvin Olasky, one of its spokesman and advisor to George Bush when he was governor of Texas, has written an overview for the general reader. Actually, it�s for the general conservative reader, but liberals should take note.
Much of the book is a collection of essays recounting the author�s visits to various antipoverty programs across the country, mostly privately run. The traditional programs (run by churches and charities) provide counseling, education, job training, and placement � the usual mix. The dropout rate is substantial, and most of those who graduate and get a job fail and return to poverty. I can�t quarrel with this result. But only a minority of alcoholics, drug addicts, and the obese succeed in solving their problems, too. These are tough problems.. It�s with greater pleasure that he relates encounters with compassionate conservatism antipoverty programs �all privately run, generally by born-again Christians and their churches. These offer the same benefits plus a heavy dose of moral uplift, discipline, and abstinence. Anyone can enter, but once in the program they must toe the line. Use of alcohol and drugs means instant expulsion; so does irresponsibility, poor attendance, and laziness. There are no second chances.
So far none of this is objectionable or even particularly conservative. However, the author adds one feature he considers essential: religion. The programs he admires stress an aggressive, proselytizing, strictly moralistic fundamentalism. Many otherwise commendable leaders become unpleasantly self-righteous on the subject of God.
Because the government refuses to fund sectarian charities, they look upon bureaucrats with the contempt they reserve for the ACLU and Planned Parenthood. Olasky approves and quotes them at length. He also maintains that graduates of these programs do better. I haven�t the expertise to dispute this, and it seems reasonable that a despairing member of the underclass who accepts Jesus will become a more solid citizen. It works with alcoholics.
Nonfundamentalists will find this book irritating because the author makes no attempt to win them over. Yet wouldn�t it be wonderful if Republicans took a genuine interest in fighting poverty? Democrats aren�t giving it more than lip service. Americans today don�t place a high priority on correcting social injustice. They would oppose any Federal effort that involves spending tax money. As a result, the only political movement making a big noise about helping the poor are the compassionate conservatives. Why not give them a chance?
Thoughtful readers should hold their noses and persist to the end.
Taking back oneself Mar 11, 2003
The Sixties gave us many things. One thing it took away was the willingness and ability of Americans as individuals to take responsibility for themselves and to be accountabe for their actions. Compassionate conservatism is a way to return responsibility and accountability to individuals and, in so doing, freeing them from poverty, addictions, and other negative behaviors. Many people attack compassionate conservatism as some religious trend but if all religious elements are stripped from it, what remains is the same idea of taking responsibility for one's own actions that mental health professionals try to get their clients to develop. If you have never worked with any of the populations Olasky describes, then you are not qualified to judge what he has written about them and whether compassionate conservatism offers a way out of their depressing lifestyles. I have been a member of some of those populations and I have worked with them since "recovering". There may be other ways to achieve success but compassionate conservatism offers something sure-fire. It works when other methods don't. Marvin Olasky does write with the pedantism of the academic. If you get past that, however, the message is compelling. The book is a quick read.
Brought to you by organized religion Jul 21, 2001
This book shows just how insane and completely wrong any right-wing attempt at "compassion" is. Books like this make it tough even for a progressive like me to keep an open-minded view on conservative ideals.
While the religious obsession in this book is nauseating enough, "Compassionate Conservatism" is also one of the most blatantly racist books I have seen in this decade. Peppered throughout the book are statements along the lines of "for a black person, he really cares about his neighborhood" and numerous similar condescending statements.
Olasky seems to convey surprise that anyone other than fundamentalist, evangelical Christian white Republicans have been able to do anything positive, and reports this in "Compassionate Conservatism" as if none of the rest of the world was aware of it either. How disgusting.
Overall, reading this poorly-written, meandering propaganda for his weak argument gave me almost the same feeling I got when I first read Rush Limbaugh. I truly though nothing was going to shock me that way again, but this sure did. Nevertheless, I encourage all citizens to read this book. Seeing compassionate conservatism in its truest form will absolutely wipe out any sugar-coated conception the network news ever gave it.