Monthly Archives: August 2007

Why Liberals Read More Books Than Conservatives

A new study came out last week that proves that liberals (Democrats and Progressives) read more books than Conservatives (Republicans or Libertarians). Leading publishing executives even commented on it, saying that more books should be aimed at liberals because Conservatives just don't read. The inference, of course, is that Conservatives are ignorant, lazy, or just not intellectually curious. Meanwhile liberals will undoubtedly use these new "facts" to prove that they are intellectual heavyweights- the very kind of highly informed intellectuals who should be running our country. What a crock! The truth is that facts are many times misleading- and this is a perfect example. The fact is that liberals have the time to read books simply because they are rarely in positions of authority or leadership- they do not own businesses, run companies, or serve in positions of great responsibility. It's easy to find the time to read a book on a couch or lazy-boy when you get off work at 3 PM daily- and have no responsibilities once you walk out the office door. Unfortunately for the rest of us in positions of ownership and leadership, our days never end. We are making business calls, participating in conference calls, and answering emails at all hours of the day and night. For the people defined as "conservative" our responsibilities never end- leaving us little, if any, time to even fantasize about reading books.

Who are "conservatives?" Find me a General in the military- I'll show you a conservative. Find me a Head Coach in the sports world- I'll show you a conservative. Find me a business owner or entrepreneur- I'll show you a conservative (at least a fiscal conservative). Find me a Bank President or Wall Street investment banker- I'll show you a conservative. Find me a corporate CEO- I'll show you a conservative. Find me a small business owner- I'll show you a conservative. Find me a sales executive (stockbroker, real estate broker, insurance broker, mortgage broker)- I'll show you a conservative. Conservatives are simply defined as the "producers" of our economy- Americans with important jobs; in leadership positions; with great responsibility; the type of people that are "on the go" 24/7- who make our economy go and grow.

No, conservatives don't have the time to read books. But they are busy creating, funding and shaping the businesses, industries, and jobs that make a difference in our world (and our economy). Reading books is not something they have time for in their busy schedules. They have mortgages, property taxes, income taxes, private schools and college educations (for their kids) to pay for. When you're bright and ambitious and want to provide a better life for your family, there are a lot of bills to pay- big bills. No, reading books is just not high up on the "priority list" for conservatives.

Equally misleading is the fact that, while busy entrepreneurs and executives (like me) don't have time to read books, we actually read far more than any liberal. We simply choose to read publications important to our careers, our success, and our understanding of the business world. For instance I rarely read a book- but I read 5 to 7 newspapers a day. My daily "must read" is the Wall Street Journal. I read it from front to back every morning. I also read the NY Times, LA Times, USA Today and my local Las Vegas Review Journal. But that's just the start. I read Forbes, Fortune, Robb Report and a multitude of other important business and political magazines. By the way, I do "read" several books a month- but I do not have the time to sit and read them in traditional fashion. I read them by listening to books on tape. So while liberals are fancying themselves as "gifted intellectuals" because they read 2 or 3 books a month, I'm busy reading 50 to 100 business publications a month, while also listening to 20 books on tape. So who's really doing the most reading? I'd argue that reading the Wall Street Journal daily is far more intellectual and crucial to success, than reading 2 or 3 books (perhaps romance novels or psycho-babble by Dr. Phil) at the beach. Reading books is a good thing- but not nearly as good for society (or the economy) as working 24/7 to create and build businesses. Not even close. Liberals don't read more books than conservatives because they are smarter- they just have more leisure time.

It's nice that liberals have time to relax and read a fictional bestseller- but unfortunately the rest of us with ambition, responsibilities, families and nonstop business meetings don't have that luxury. We're a tad busy creating jobs, paying high taxes (created by liberals to punish the producers of society), making payrolls, and raising our families. You show me a guy with a wife, 2 or 3 kids, an important job or career, and a big mortgage- I'll show you someone that rarely if ever has the time to read a book (except perhaps on a long airplane trip on the way to a business meeting). But that's the guy that our American economy depends on- as a matter of fact we could not survive without millions of men and women just like him. Those are the conservative voters.

The reason that Conservatives don't read books is the exact same reason that liberals fail miserably on talk radio. Just in the past few months, high-profile liberal talk radio networks Air America and Jane Fonda's GreenStone Media (feminist radio) both declared bankruptcy and went off the air. Why? Because radio is not something most people listen to at home. Talk radio is the perfect form of entertainment while driving in your car. And who drives in their cars (particularly during morning and evening rush hour)? People with jobs, businesses, careers- otherwise known as conservatives (at least fiscal conservatives). Talk radio is dominated by conservative hosts- they literally scream all day long about high taxes and wasteful government spending. You know why? Because the drivers listening to these shows are the ones who pay all the taxes!

Polls show only 20% of the American electorate actually rates taxes as a top political priority. You know why? Because that's the 20% of Americans that pays virtually 100% of the taxes! The tax burden in this country is all on the backs of the "producers"- the 20% of the electorate that creates, founds, funds and runs their own businesses. Those are the 20% that invest in America and make the American economy grow. Those are the 20% that create most of the jobs. Those are the 20% who pay the taxes that allow the rest of the electorate to sit back at 4 PM and read a nice book. That's precisely why that 20% is so angry at high taxation without representation. That's why they are so angry at the expansion of government. That's why they are so angry at wasteful government spending; because it's our money that's being spent!

Conservatives drive in the morning to work (sometimes an hour or longer commute), they drive back home at night, they drive in-between to business lunches, client meetings and sales calls. Then they drive on Saturday and Sunday mornings to their children's ballgames, karate classes, Lacrosse matches, and swimming lessons. These are people with families, big mortgages, careers. No wonder they are fiscally conservative. I understand them because I'm one of them. We're the people at the top of the U.S. income charts, yet there's still never anything left at the end of the month (especially at the end of April 15th- tax day). We bust our humps for our families- yet liberal bureaucrats think the money we earn by breaking our backs is their money to dole out as bribes to typical Democrat voters- people that sit around on the couch all day watching soap operas, Jerry Springer and personal injury lawyer ads. So, yes we're angry... and fed up... and sick and tired of our hard-earned money being used as government handouts to bribe Democrat voters. We're not rich- not by a longshot. We're just struggling at a much higher level! And you're damn right we listen to conservative talk radio. Conservative talk radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly and Michael Savage feel our pain. That's why liberals fail miserably on talk radio- talk radio is for people that WORK and pay taxes and feed the American economy. These are called Conservatives.

So before liberals start bragging about their reading skills, perhaps they need to understand why Conservatives don't have time to read. Like me, they're too busy trying to build something of value to leave to their children. Burying yourself in a book is a luxury for people without ambition. People satisfied with average jobs, pedestrian careers, and safe paychecks; people that are afraid of risk or responsibility; people that crave safe weekly paychecks, that come with little or no real responsibility; people who want tenure- a job for life- without regard for performance; people, who want a government bureaucrat's pension; people who want to work 9-to-5, with holidays and summers off. Those are the liberals who have the time to read lots of books.

But those who (like me) are out in the business world creating things of value, creating jobs, paying huge payrolls and taxes and health insurance for our employees, responsible for million dollar budgets, taking multimillion dollar risks- we don't have that luxury. We don't get summers off. Our days don't end at 3 PM or 5 PM... or ever. We take our work, business calls and emails home with us. When you run or own a business, it's your baby. The day never ends for conservatives like that. Neither do the bills or taxes. Those kind of people- small business owners, entrepreneurs, executives, salespersons, independent contractors (stockbrokers, real estate brokers, insurance brokers, mortgage brokers, investment bankers)- work 24/7 to pay the bills. Why? It's called ambition. It's called capitalism. It is our ambition and work ethic has created the greatest economy in the history of civilization. But it comes with a price- there's no time to read a lot of books. Yes, I'm a Libertarian-Conservative. And I'm proud of it. No, we don't read books. We build businesses...we build families...we build legacies...we build the United States economy.

Wayne Allyn Root is a candidate for the Libertarian Party Presidential nomination. He is a proud Conservative. He's also an author- ROOT may not read books, but he's written six books and counting.

Rove & Carville- The Myth and Misnomer of the Genius Label

In another life, when I was still a huge Republican supporter and contributor, I hosted Karl Rove at my home (2 years ago) for a Republican Party fundraiser. The man known as "The Genius" of GOP political strategy sat next to me at my dining room table. We talked politics and discussed strategy for keeping the GOP in power for years to come. We both had the same goal- keeping our party in power long-term. But we each saw a very different picture and believed in very different strategies to accomplish that goal.

Rove thought that "playing to the base first and foremost" (to religious Christian conservatives) was the way to cement GOP dominance. I disagreed strongly- both at that meeting and in future letters to Rove, I made it clear that in the "real world" business circles that I traveled in, the GOP was fast losing support. I told him that the more "W" pandered to the religious right, the more crucial support they'd lose among moderates, independents, Libertarians, business owners, and Barry Goldwater Republicans. I told him that issues such as the Terri Schiavo fiasco (assisted suicide), gay rights, stem cell research, and the proposed ban on online gaming were all alienating at least two voters (moderates, independents, Libertarians and Goldwater conservatives) for every one religious Christian that was attracted to the GOP.

As my prime example, I pointed to the proposed ban on online gaming and poker that Rove, Bush, and key GOP leaders like Senators Frist and Kyle, Congressmen Goodlatte and Leach supported. I pointed out to Rove that online gaming was not some new niche fad- but rather a national phenomenon (if not obsession) that was here to stay. I explained that tens of millions of men- most of them traditional GOP voters and contributors (college-educated males with high incomes- often small business owners, professionals, independent contractors, salesmen)- were devoted sports bettors, casino gamblers and poker enthusiasts. And since these same educated, high-income men are also known as "first adapters" (first to adapt to new technology), most of them were doing their betting or poker playing on the Internet, on their home computers. I pointed out that those same men voted Republican because they were convinced that the GOP was the party of smaller government, less government interference in our lives, and freedom for the individual (which of course includes Internet freedom).

I pointed out to Rove that millions of American men who vote predominantly Republican for economic reasons (they are fiscal conservatives and simply want lower taxes and government out of their way and out of their lives) think the same way- they believe that not only is there nothing wrong with playing poker on your own computer, in your own home, with your own money- it is none of the government's damn business in the first place. I told Rove that if he ever polled Republican male voters- especially those with incomes over $100,000 (the main contributors to the GOP)- on the topic of online gambling, he'd find that 90 out of every 100 would admit to enjoying gambling; 70 out of 100 would admit to enjoying online gaming or poker; and the others are either lying or scared to admit they enjoy gambling in front of their wives!

I was soon proven correct when polls in both the Wall Street Journal and on CNBC showed overwhelming universal support for online gaming (approaching 90%). But Rove ignored my opinions and allowed the GOP Congress to ban online gaming (by attaching the bill to a Port Security Bill at the last minute of the last hour of the Republican controlled Congress). It was a disastrous decision- angering millions of traditional and natural GOP allies and contributors. It cemented the impression that the GOP was no longer the party of smaller government. And worse, it made it clear that the GOP and the religious right allies they pandered to, supported "the Nanny State." Grown men (and women) were now being told by the GOP how to live their lives, what form of entertainment to choose, and how to spend their own money. Free will, individual rights, and choice were obviously no longer welcome at the GOP.

As a result, I predicted on Fox News Channel in the days before the 2006 election that the GOP would lose control of Congress. I was proven right. "The genius" Karl Rove was wrong. The election was a disaster for the GOP, Bush, Rove and their allies. Rove had badly misjudged the strength of his religious coalition. But Rove's misjudgement was not just a short term blip- it has alienated younger voters against the GOP for many years to come. As Democratic strategist James Carville recently pointed out, Democrats now beat Republicans in polls by a whopping 32 points among voters 30 or younger. I wonder if Karl Rove ever used his "genius" to figure out why young Americans have turned against the GOP? Young college-age and post-college age males spend half their waking hours doing two things (other than chasing girls)- playing poker and gambling on sports. Do you think perhaps the GOP decision to support a Prohibition on online gaming might have had something to do with the dramatic Democratic edge among younger voters? Ya think?

So I guess the "genius label" is applied far too quickly and prematurely in national politics. Today's hero is often tomorrow's goat. Of course my skepticism applies equally to the "Democratic genius" James Carville too. In a recent commentary by Carville, he correctly pointed out that Rove's policies and strategies have damaged the GOP for years to come. But he is no genius either- because he drew the wrong conclusion. Carville concluded that "young voters generally favor larger government providing more services." He further concluded that the GOP's loss would be the Democrats gain- obviously because liberal Democrats are the party of bigger government. I disagree strongly. Carville is as biased and delusional as Rove. They are both too close to the situation- as lifetime supporters and benefactors of their respective political parties.

Polls have proven again and again that the American electorate favors smaller government, lower taxes, and less spending. When asked if they are fiscally conservative and socially liberal, American voters answered "YES" in large numbers. When asked if they are a member of the "Investor Class" a majority of Americans answered "YES." Obviously these are polls of the general electorate- which is comprised primarily of Americans out of college, and in the workplace. Younger voters may temporarily want bigger government and more services, but that is a short-term blip. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out that college-age students are idealistic, not realistic. They haven't earned a paycheck yet. Heck, they haven't even applied for a job. Once they reach the "real world" and get hit with economic reality- ie getting their first paycheck and finding out that 50% is missing (to taxes)- they'll quickly turn fiscally conservative (otherwise known as Libertarian). It's only hip, trendy and "compassionate" to root for bigger government and more government services when you don't get a paycheck or pay taxes. It's only natural to support more entitlements when you're not paying a dime for them.

As soon as today's college students and recent college grads spend a year or two in the "real world" and find their dreams dashed and their purchasing power destroyed by taxes, they'll quickly turn conservative on fiscal and economic issues, and become supporters of smaller government, lower taxes, and reduced spending. Afterall, only those who pay no taxes, could possibly support higher taxes. Only those who don't own a home, could possibly support higher property taxes. Only those who don't own stocks or real estate, could possibly support higher capital gains taxes. Only those who are too young to have their own children or to think about their parents' mortality, could possibly support death taxes. Only those who don't own their own business or don't receive a healthy paycheck from a corporation, could possibly support higher taxes on businesses.

Carville is just another out-of-touch, na‹ve, bleeding heart liberal who hasn't a clue what makes real Americans in the workforce tick. I'm a pretty typical American. I'm 46 years old. I've worked 14 to 16 hour days running my companies and building my career for the past quarter of a century. I sacrifice every day in order to provide my family with the best life has to offer- NOT to provide strangers or government bureaucrats with more money. I sacrifice so that when I die, everything I've worked for and built goes to my family- NOT to strangers or government bureaucrats.

No Mr. Carville, I don't work 14 to 16 hour days, 7 days a week, so that my money and success and all the fruits of my labor should go to the people that don't sacrifice, that don't work 16 hour days, that don't have "ownership" in society, that don't pay taxes, that expect to be handed their income while they sit on the couch watching soap operas, Jerry Springer, Gilligan's Island reruns, and personal injury lawyer advertisements all day.

College students don't understand that feeling just yet, so it is to be expected they'd naively support bigger government- before they've earned a paycheck, paid any significant taxes, bought a stock, or owned a home. But their attitudes will all change quickly once they go to work, earn a paycheck, find out the brutal reality of taxes and how they erode their standard of living, and take part in the ownership society.

In the end, both Rove and Carville are dead wrong. Current trends don't support the success of either Republicans or Democrats. Approval ratings of 30% for Republican President Bush and 25% for our Democratic Congress prove that. In the future, I believe a majority of younger Americans will choose to become a perfect mix of conservative (on issues such as smaller government, lower taxes, reduced government spending, lower entitlements, elimination of affirmative action) and liberal (on social issues such as abortion, gay rights, stem cell research, assisted suicide, online gaming and Internet freedom). That combination is not found in either the GOP or Democratic Parties. It is only found in the Libertarian Party. Change is in the air- the time is ripe for the success of a credible third party challenger in the American political system. Moving forward into the future, neither Republicans nor Democrats have the answers or solutions that Americans want and need to hear. For younger voters, older voters and everyone in-between, whether the topic is fiscal policy or social policy- the answer isn't bigger government, it's more freedom. It's more free will; choice; and freedom and rights for the individual. The Libertarian Party is the obvious beneficiary of the mistakes, miscalculations and misjudgements of Rove and Carville. The lesson to this story is to be careful who we choose to label a "genius."

The Incredible Hypocrisy of Being John Edwards!

Liberals have always been hypocrites. But John Edwards is the poster boy for all-time! He creates a crystal-clear picture that only a complete idiot could miss. So actually Conservatives and Libertarians across the country owe a debt of gratitude to John. THANK YOU JOHN EDWARDS.

Let me count the ways that liberal John the lawyer is a hypocrite.

First, he lectures around the country on the subject of poverty. John considers himself a "poverty crusader." A warrior in the battle to protect and defend the poor. Yet it turns out that when John lectures on this topic he charges $50,000 a speech. But wait, that $50,000 was the charge to a college. Can you imagine what he charges corporations? Yes, if young broke college kids want to hear our hero John speak about poverty for an hour- they have to pony up $50,000. Well that's heroic, don't you think? John redefines Robin Hood. He steals $50,000 from broke college kids in order to talk about poverty! But he's the one creating the poverty. After John Edwards speaks to your college or organization about poverty, it's good that everyone in the audience has a deep new understanding of poverty- because they're now experiencing it! By the way, when you watch John define poverty, you get the pleasure of watching a "poverty expert" with a $400 haircut. Wow, John also redefines chutzpah.

Secondly, while John lectures on the amazing and "unfair" tax breaks afforded to the rich- including offshore hedge funds and banks- it turns out that he was paid $500,000 last year by...if you guess this one, you qualify for the million dollar prize giveaway...an offshore hedge fund! Yes, I said an offshore hedge fund. John says he merely wanted to understand how offshore banks worked. Which would actually be a plausible excuse (well at least it would qualify as an acceptable coverup), if he hadn't been paid $500,000 for his foreign study course. So why accept the $500,000? Well, I guess someone has to pay the bills on John's 20,000 square foot North Carolina mansion. Just the electric bill has to be $500,000 for a man that I'm certain will soon claim to be a "global warming crusader" too. John has brought chutzpah to a whole new level never experienced before.

Third, we bring you the latest and greatest episode of "Adventures in Being John the Hypocrite." You see John has criticized his fellow Democrats for either taking money from Rupert Murdoch (specifically a $30,000 donation to Hillary Clinton) or even appearing on Fox News Channel. He feels Murdoch and Fox are biased against liberals. But it turns out that John took a $800,000 check in the form of a book advance from...guess who? Rupert Murdoch and his News Corp (parent company of book publisher Harper Collins). That doesn't seem to bother John. Not only does John refuse to give back that money, he claims to have donated it to charity- although he has produced no receipts. This just keeps getting better.

By the way, John also says that Democrat Presidential candidates should refuse to accept contributions from lobbyists. That smacks of "special interests" to John. But John has financed almost his entire Presidential campasigns of 2004 and 2008 on contributions from lawyers and the ABA (American Bar Association). Without trial and Personal Injury lawyers, John wouldn't have two nickels to rub together. So according to John the Hypocrite, lobbyists are bad...but lawyers and bar associations are good? Wow, this is really getting funny. Jay Leno couldn't come up with better material.

Here's a question I have for John Edwards: just a wild guess, but being that John fights for "fairness" with every waking breath, and he obviously- as a liberal crusader- is a big fan of higher spending on public education, does John send his two young kids to public school? I'd bet a cool million that the answer is a resounding, hypocritical "NO!" The Robin Hood of our day, the $400 per haircut, $50,000 per speech, $500,000 per year offshore hedge fund consultant, who hates lobbyists and loves public school educators sends his kids to the fanciest private schools that money can buy in North Carolina. Wanna bet? Does the hypocrisy ever end? But I must confess, I love John the Hypocrite. He has summed up in a short few months what being a liberal is all about. John Edwards is a gift from heaven. John the Hypocrite, we love you.

Wayne Allyn Root is a Libertarian candidate for President of the United States. His opinions, commentaries and Bio are all available at:
www.ROOT4America.com