My first book: The Conservatarian Manifesto

I have a little personal news to share. I have written a book, which will be published by Penguin Random House on March 10th of next year. It is available for pre-order now, in hardback, audiobook (I read it myself), and on Kindle and iBooks. There is a website that has more details.

The book is in part a look at the growing number of self-identified “conservatarians” — those people whose worldview is broadly right-leaning, but who are dissatisfied with the Republican party and with much of libertarianism. I also make some suggestions as to how conservatives can update their offering, propose a framework within which their various constituents can once again co-exist, and take on the notion that there is such a thing as a “social issue” per se. At the books’s heart is a sustained defense of federalism and of a thriving and diverse civil society. Here’s the blurb:

Coming in March 2015, The Conservatarian Manifesto, published by Crown Forum, is a call to arms for the growing population of “conservatarians”—members of the right for whom fiscal responsibility, constitutional obedience, and controlled government spending remain crucial tenets, but issues such as gay marriage and drug control are approached with a libertarian bent. They are vexed by Republicans’ failure to cut the size and scope of Washington, D.C., but they are critical of some libertarians for their unacceptable positions on abortion, national defense, and immigration.

In the book, Cooke engages with the data and the philosophy behind the conservatarianism, applauding the trend as a force that can help Republicans mend the ills that have plagued the party in recent years and sustain the momentum gained in the 2014 midterm elections. Here, Cooke shows the way back to a better and more honest conservatism that champions limited government, reality-based policy, and favor for the smallest minority of all: the individual.

The Conservatarian Manifesto is on sale March 10, 2015 and is currently available for pre-order a conservatarian.com or the online retailer of your choice.

You can get the hardback here, the audiobook here, and the Kindle version here.

The iBooks version is here.

CM Full

Do Black People Have Equal Gun Rights?

By rights, the Second Amendment should serve as a totem of African-Americans’ full citizenship and enfranchisement. For centuries, firearms have been indispensable to black liberation: as crucial a defense against tyranny for Frederick Douglass and Martin Luther King Jr. as for Sam Adams and George Washington. Today, however, many black Americans have a decidedly mixed relationship with the right to bear arms. ›› Read at the New York Times

Democrats in Disarray

When, last year, it became clear that 2014 should by rights be a good year for conservatives, the more cynical among them began to imagine that it was therefore about time for the party’s leadership to scour the country in search of the most unlikeable, inadequate, unpredictable figures that they could possibly find. Somewhere, I supposed acidly, there was a farm that specialized in raising registered Republicans with incurable Tourette’s and a penchant for ventilating on the subjects of rape and armed revolution. From the latest litter would the party draw its candidates and, as in years past, the rest would be history. And yet, in this cycle, it has been the Democrats who have repeatedly erred and the Republicans who have stayed happily out of trouble. ›› Read on National Review Online

Palin the Piñata

Day in and day out, the more trigger-happy feminists within America’s media circus are moved to pen extravagant disquisitions on the nature of sexual inequality if and when a man they dislike so much as looks at them askew. Elsewhere, wholly substantive criticisms of Elizabeth Warren or Hillary Clinton are held up as shining examples of deeply embedded sexism within the United States, and of the subtle, sometimes invisible role that “hatred of women” plays within the country’s political culture. To take potshots at clownish figures such as Lena Dunham, we have learned, is to invite indignant death threats. And yet, when a veritable legion of male comedians elects to use foul, carnal, and, yes, “gendered” language to dismiss Palin and her family, our contemporary Boudiceas shrug at best and offer endorsements at worst. Sarah Palin, as the abominable bumper sticker has it, “isn’t a woman, she’s a Republican.” ›› Read on National Review Online

Wendy Davis vs. Principle

Politics is a silly game, and Davis is an especially maladroit player. Nevertheless, her reaction is telling, neatly demonstrating as it does just how comprehensively the politics of victimhood devours classical conceptions of liberty. Abbott’s argument was that, as a lawyer, his job would be to represent the interests of his client — whatever he personally thought of those interests. At what point, one wonders, did this approach become controversial among civilized people? As it is broadly understood that defense attorneys play a crucial role within the criminal-justice system — their job being to make the best possible case against the claims of the state — it should be generally comprehended that an attorney general plays a crucial role within a constitutional republic. Suppose that Abbott had said explicitly that he would have been duty bound to defend Texas’s miscegenation laws. Would that have made him Bull Connor? Or would that have made him a representative of the will of the people — a paid channel and nothing less? Clearly, it is the latter. ›› Read on National Review Online

Crying ‘Racism’ on Ebola

Writing in the Guardian last week, Hannah Giorgis proposed seriously that the Western world’s pronounced fear of Ebola was merely a proxy for “fear of a black patient.” The man who brought Ebola into the United States, Giorgis noted correctly, “was black, he was poor, and he was African” — and this, she suggested, really matters. After all, Giorgiscomplained, “a Dallas hospital turned away” the patient — an “uninsured Liberian immigrant” named Thomas Eric Duncan — “after an initial exam concluded he suffered only from a ‘low-grade viral disease.’” Simultaneously, “the media turned [Duncan] into the unsympathetic, undeserving face of a contagion with which the west is frantically grappling.” Far from being individually notorious for having brought a lethal disease to the United States, Giorgis suggested, Duncan and other West Africans with Ebola have “become nothing more than disease vectors responsible for infecting innocent western health workers.” So too “Amber Joy Vinson, the second healthcare worker diagnosed with the virus,” who Giorgisbelieves has been criticized because she is black. ›› Read on National Review Online