Book Title: Stop the Insanity Target 2014
Author: David L.Welch
The premise of Stop the Insanity by David Welch puts forth the idea that the government is as insane as the voters who send the same representatives back time and time again. And as long as those voters continue to re-elect the same worthless politicians, the insanity in Washington will continue.
There is one other possible explanation: voters lack a reasonable alternative. This suggests the voters are not actually insane, though Washington politics are. Our two political parties are either unable or unwilling to offer reasonable candidates. I suspect—and hope—that is the case.
And from that hope springs this book. I truly believe it is possible to offer the voters an alternative: independent candidates for Congress who will truly act in the best interest of our country and its citizens.
Purchase link: Amazon
This book is different from the books I have read before. I love reading, but couldn’t stand autobiographies and self-help publications. So imagine my shock when I started reading this book. I thought I was seeing introduction and author’s notes, but when I realized that they are part of the “story” I suddenly felt bored. I was stupid. But since I want to finish the book and hopefully write a review (which I am doing now), I decided to pick it up. And got another surprise.
It was an amazing book. I know it might sound phony, but it really is that good. For those who don’t know, I have a degree in International Relations though I am not practicing. I am still saving for my MA and when I’m done, I will brave the challenging Foreign Service Exam. So when I eventually learned what this book is about, I was grinning.
Let’s go to the objective kind of book reviewing first. As in the summary, the book is about reforming America by changing ways of the government, making the institution more efficient, effective, and appropriate. It was written in a simple way, with chapters clearly assigned for various issues for discussion and suggestion. There were even graphs for better understanding, and a lot of citations and examples to prove the author’s premises.
It is easily understandable, though I cannot say for all. There were political and economic jargons included which should be easy to understand by a concern and active citizen of the state. However, we know that when people started reading something about politics and economics, they tend to go away. They shut it down believing that when they do, it will simply go away and won’t bother them. I think this is the main challenge in the book. I greatly appreciate the writing and the author’s ideas though I can’t speak for others. They might find it boring and unimportant, thus not reading it. And the author’s suggestions will be left unnoticed.
I am from the Philippines and cannot claim that I am expert of American issues. However, I can argue that whatever happens in a big power just like America can/is also happening in any other state. In the beginning, the author is smart enough to capture my attention with this line: “Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over yet expecting a different result.” He then connected this with elections. It is true that people expect “change” to happen even if they vote the very same candidate or party in an election. Yes, we can hope that these people might improve over a few years, but can they really change the situation?
After the introduction of the insanity going on in his country, the author gave issues which politicians must pay attention to. These issues are more important than others, albeit unpopular with the masses. That is why I also agree with the author when he mentioned that during campaigns, candidates only request the people to vote for them to do this and that – those simple things which have little effect on the society and won’t give the desire change that a lot of people are asking for.
There are some issues given which I also agreed, mostly because I also felt the need for it to be tackled in my country. An example would be better education, increasing quality of vocational and technical schools, and supporting independent candidates. There are also some which I don’t understand, especially deep economics. I like numbers, true, but putting them in incomprehensible jungle makes me dizzy. Not the author’s fault. 🙂 Anyway, there are also some issues which I disagree and would like to point here.
1. The author wanted to pull the troops back to US. The main argument is to cut military costs. I partially agree with this. There are some locations why I also wonder the existence of American forces. However, I disagree with the author when he pointed out that America must not be always there helping other states in times of turmoil. Why does US army need to be in Iraq? Afghanistan? Syria? I might not be in the position to disagree since I am not one of those who pay taxes just so these forces can help extinguish rebel groups in foreign lands, but let me state my case. America, albeit the economic crises, is the current hegemon, a global leader in the international system. One of its responsibilities is to keep peace and order by maintaining the balance of power in the international order. It is only necessary for the US to aid countries, such as “status-quo states”.
2. This is not a disagreement, but I would like to point something to the author. American troops are sent to various locations for many reasons. For the public, the government can say that it is for the protection of the American citizens in that foreign state, as well as the diplomats and embassies there. However, I agree with the argument of the author that this “protection” can be done by a hundred or two soldiers, not thousands, which are often the case. Now, I would like to introduce the term “national interest”. States behave like humans and they do not act on something when they do not have anything to gain. May it be a new trade agreement or environmental understanding, states act for their raison d’État, where they pursue their economic, military, and political goals by connecting with the other international players.
I believe that American soldiers are there for a reason. In my country, the Philippines, they are here not only to train Filipino soldiers and grant them second-hand weapons and artilleries. The Philippines, which is located in Southeast Asia, can be a good candidate when America realized to gain a stronghold in Asia. With the rise of China and its threats, American presence in the region is expected. This is the same in South Korea, where thousands of American G.I’s where deployed to protect the country from the aggressive attacks of the communist North and its big brother.
3. Lastly, though I agree in supporting the independent candidates, I do not like the list provided by the author in the end of the book. Independent candidates are ordinary people who have seen enough in the country and would like to rise and change the current system. However, with a lack of political backing and financial resources, they often ended up losing the elections. Thus, the author suggested those who are self-made billionaires who will not be tempted to corrupt. But including Jerry Yang, Laurene Jobs, Paul Allen, and Oprah Winfrey? Seriously?
Despite of my disagreements, I do believe that this book is well-written and well-thought of, though I also got disappointed to see none about strengthening foreign relations in other countries. It cannot be doubted that this was created by someone who is concern with what happens to his country. And that constitutes being a citizen, right? So let’s all be good, responsible citizen of our state and take time to think of what we can do to contribute. Change is such a big word and a single voice cannot be heard. But with collective effort, who knows? Change can be within our grasp.
**Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of The Virtual Book Tour Cafe’ and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by The Virtual Book Tour Cafe’, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review nor was there an obligation to write a positive one. All opinions expressed here are entirely of my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, the book’s publisher and publicist or the readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use ofEndorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.**
About the author:
David Welch’s life has been divided between school (studied economics as an undergraduate at Stanford, an MBA in Finance at the University of Chicago, an MS degree in Tax Law at Golden Gate University), Army (two years in Korea during the Vietnam era), politics (ran for Congress and won the Republican primary in California), business (Treasurer of Dowell Schlumberger, Asia Tax Manager for Schlumberger Wireline, CEO of his own educational software company), and teaching (taught English in Poland, taught International Finance at a Chinese University). Recently, David has been assisting his brother in a small Mortgage Modification business. The brothers have helped save the homes of approximately one hundred families facing foreclosure.
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