In Reclaiming Conservatism: How a Great American Political Movement Got Lost--And How It Can Find Its Way Back, Mickey Edwards, who served in the U.S. Congress from 1977 to 1993 representing Oklahoma, makes persuasive arguments that the Republican Party has deviated from its fundamental principles and outlines a way back.
The Amazon.com review of the book says:
A leading figure in the American conservative movement for over 40 years, Mickey Edwards was a prominent Republican congressman, a former national chairman of the American Conservative Union, and a founding trustee of the Heritage Foundation. When he speaks, conservatives listen. Now, in this highly provocative and frank volume, Edwards argues loud and clear that conservatives today have abandoned their principles and have become champions of that which they once feared most.
Not enough conservatives are listening to him.
In a letter posted on Amazon.com, Edwards writes:
Dear Amazon Reader,
Having been repudiated even in states they had long dominated, Republicans woke up on November 5th faced with the challenge of rebuilding a political party that had been transformed overnight from powerful to pitiful. They should have seen it coming. In my book, Reclaiming Conservatism, I describe precisely how Republicans in the White House and in Congress became the enemies of the principles they once stood for, a threat to constitutional government, and a party thoroughly deserving of the rebuke it has received. I explain specifically how conservatives can again earn the public’s confidence.
Now Republican leaders are trying to find the way back. In the process, they are continuing to look in the wrong direction, unwilling to face the reality of the disastrous choices that led to their defeat. So-called conservatives, they have abandoned true American conservatism--which is properly focused on limited (not small) government, individual liberty, and prudent governance--and have instead become the champions of wiretapping, government secrecy, federal deficits, questionable wars, and a nasty kind of politics that even questions the patriotism of those who disagree with their policies.
The Republican Party long stood for the principles at the heart of the American Constitution, including a belief in the wonderful possibilities of self-government (instead of the anti-government rhetoric it has since embraced). It celebrated ideas instead of the rabid anti-intellectualism it has come to cherish. It celebrated diversity (Barry Goldwater argued that there was no such thing as a merely common man) rather than demanding sameness in religion, values, and beliefs. The Republican Party does not need to re-invent itself--it merely needs to remember what it once was.
This book is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand current economic policy, politics, and the way back to prosperity and prominence.