Friday, October 31, 2014

Right for a Reason, by Miriam Weaver and Amy Jo Clark

Miriam Weaver and Amy Jo Clark, a.k.a. Daisy and Mock on their radio show, are a couple of midwestern moms who have decided that conservatism needs a makeover.  On their website, Facebook page, and radio show, these "chicks on the right" have made a name for themselves promoting conservatism with a feminine touch.  Now they have put their ideas into book form, in Right for a Reason: Life, Liberty, and a Crapload of Common Sense.

On one level, they're about what you'd expect from this title: they're funny, brash, outspoken, a bit irreverent, and probably a little bossy.  (They object to the campaign against the use of that word, so I thought I'd throw it in for them!  They write: "It damages us all when a campaign showcasing women of influence recommends banning a word simply because it hurts their feelings.")  I will not comment on their looks, as that might be construed as sexist (see the section in which they berate a Republican congressman who stated that a reporter was "beautiful," noting that he "couldn't manage to make points about policy and ideology without resorting to commenting on [her] appearance.")

Besides being entertaining and provocative, Weaver and Clark demonstrate a savvy understanding of conservative issues.  Covering gun control, politically correct speech, the free market, racism, feminism, American exceptionalism, and other areas of policy and culture, they argue that conservatives are right about these issues.  They are right to defend capitalism, to reject a culture of government handouts, to uphold the right to own guns, to reject speech codes, and to be pro-life.  None of these positions will surprise conservative readers, and Weaver and Clark present them in an engaging way.

One of their strengths in Right for a Reason is the acknowledgement that not all conservatives are the same.  "Just because we pull the Republican levers at the polling booth doesn't mean that we necessarily toe the party line on every single issue, nor does it mean all Republicans in general are in lockstep on every single issue."  They demonstrate their independence from the positions of many conservatives as they discuss the hot-button sexual issues of the day.  They have no objection to equal rights for gay couples and individuals.  They call on conservatives not to be concerned about who someone is sleeping with, and to focus on issues that really matter.  To gay people, they say, "That's great that you're gay, but no one cares.  Just be gay and stop making it the cornerstone of your entire existence already."

They are more in line with most conservatives on abortion, and are decidedly pro-life, but realistically accept the fact that overturning Roe v. Wade is not in the cards.  Abortion, especially late-term, is a horror.  They object to the use of abortion as birth control, and the risks to women's health that abortions pose.  However, unlike many conservatives, they have no objection to birth control pills and morning after pills.  Their position on birth control will alienate some conservatives, but it is well-reasoned and ultimately pro-life.

Weaver and Clark have a perspective and voice that is frequently lacking in conservative circles.  They are passionate, inclusive, reasonable, and persuasive.  When too often Republicans are on the defensive (which is most of the time, in this world of liberal-dominated media), the Chicks on the Right provide a positive, forward-thinking message, presenting conservative ideas in a way that is appealing and even cool.  More power to them!

Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for the complimentary electronic review copy!

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