"The Conservative's Handbook"

Rebecca Hagelin

11/13/2008 12:01:00 AM - Rebecca Hagelin

In the wake of last Tuesday’s election, there’s a lot of soul-searching going on among conservatives. Where, many ask, did we go wrong? It’s not simply a matter of tactics. Some are wondering what, exactly, we believe and why. Enter “The Conservative’s Handbook.”

Clearly, at such a pivotal time, the need for fact-based, reliable information on the issues couldn’t be greater. And that’s what Phil Valentine provides in “The Conservative’s Handbook: Defining the Right Positions on Issues from A to Z.” With so few students learning about civics in school anymore, Valentine, a popular radio host heard in more than 40 markets across the nation, clearly and accurately explains America’s success as a free and prosperous nation.

Don’t be intimidated by the scope of his topic. Valentine’s book couldn’t be more reader-friendly. From “America’s goodness” to “Zero tolerance on crime,” he takes readers on a tour of the seminal issues they face today, allowing them to test themselves on the topics that matter most to an informed electorate.

But Valentine also makes you think about the Big Picture. He answers thought-provoking questions about freedom, where it came from, and what maintains it. There’s a reason, after all, that America is the country that people flock to from all around the world -- and as informed conservatives, we need to be able to explain what that is. Valentine reflects on our responsibility as citizens to be involved in our government by holding our leaders accountable, and why it’s critical that we realize why and how our freedoms are at stake.

When liberals ask why you don’t believe in big government, what do you say? Valentine will help you explain your views in ways that help people understand how history has repeatedly shown that it is freedom, hard work and personal responsibility -- not government intervention -- that produces the strongest and most prosperous nations.

Think about it. What do you believe about taxes? How do fiscal issues relate to your freedom and that of your family? What about education? What would happen if only your children were allowed to walk through the school doors because parents were no longer allowed to take part in their children’s education? And were you aware that where gun control is stronger, crime rates are higher? “The Conservative’s Handbook” outlines a principled approach to explaining the conservative values that are the bedrock of American freedom.

Valentine explains that America was founded as a capitalist nation, and that the country has survived because its Constitution provides ultimate control to citizens, not to their government. He shows the stark contrast between America and nations that run on socialism. History has proven repeatedly that people prosper and succeed when they are free to build businesses, order their lives as they see fit, and exercise their own free will to give to those in need.

Yet in far too many nations today, people are not free to do as they please. Many are killed for speaking their minds, for standing up for what they believe. And unless we want to see the same fate to someday befall our beloved country, we need to protect our freedoms.

Don’t assume we have nothing to worry about. Even now, American citizens are fighting in court to protect their freedoms from those who believe America is a bad place. Valentine shows how America is good and how it provides its citizens unique opportunities to become whatever they want through hard work and individual responsibility.

Timely and thoroughly researched, “The Conservative Handbook” may either be read straight through or searched by topic.

Readers also would do well to tune in to “The Phil Valentine Show,” which was syndicated in 2007. Valentine started out in radio challenging listeners to consider their beliefs. He wants them to know what they believe -- and why. He built up radio stations throughout the years and has won prestigious awards for his outstanding show.

He’s also written “Tax Revolt” and “Right From The Heart: The ABC’s of Reality in America,” a 2003 release that has been listed among Amazon.com’s bestselling books.

“One cannot be simultaneously free and dependent on the government,” he writes. “Our freedom to be all we can be is what makes the United States unique. It’s also what makes us good.” Good words to ponder, especially at a time when conservatives are trying to find their way again. They would do well to consult “The Conservative’s Handbook.”