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Synopsis

The book "The Right Nation" in a detailed and engaging manner reveals the authors' thoughts concerning the conservative politics in America. Micklethwait is the U.S. editor and Wooldridge is a Washington correspondent of The Economist and both seem to share similar ideas and thoughts concerning the subject of American politics. In their work, they expose to us more than a survey of the rise of Ronald Reagan or the policies of George W. Bush. The book offer social and historical analysis of ideas and beliefs that looks at how conservative ideologies became such a defining factor of American being.

Micklethwait and Wooldridge argue that, America has always been a fundamentally conservative nation whose revolution was majorly to do with the limitations on government power. Since the Second World War, conservative ideology has pushed to the sidelines liberalism and today's champions of liberalism like John Kerry and Bill Clinton are merely pale representatives of conservative thoughts. Through out the book, the authors are very keen though, not to show their own political cards. Still, one can realize that they clearly take conservative ideas seriously and examine both the pros and cons of these ideas. They argue that conservatism in America is just another example of their exceptionalism that has no parallel in the conservative parties of Europe.

Evidence

During Bush's administration, his conservatism came to be the dominant politics of America (Micklethwait & Wooldridge 2004). This argument has been received even by the American right wing, something that is likely to distress a lot of people outside America and not because it is a right wing account. This is because the authors hypothesis describe the right-wingery as being in line with American traditions and beliefs and at the same time, has now set roots deep into the American politics that there is nothing one can imagine that can manage to shake it off the hearts and minds of the American voters (Micklethwait & Wooldridge 2004). The authors also brings to our attention the fact that Bush policies has put in place machineries that has expanded the American state through its links with corporate lobby and its programs concerned with religions, children and dissidents through Homeland Security, that they have an elaborate engine for running America for a very long time even past Bush's tenure.

Part of the author's mission is to enable a European audience who were appalled by the Bush's administration, get to understand what this American exceptionalism is all about while they hold to the hope that this is just a temporary eccentricity (Micklethwait & Wooldridge 2004). The current political arena is for the growing group of right wingers. They define what it is and it takes to be American and at the same time denounce all their critics as "un-American" (Micklethwait & Wooldridge 2004). Something exceptional that must be mentioned here is the super-patriotism that, demands of all functionalities to meet the standards of being American without taking much into account the actual historical origins of the thoughts, ideas and practices.

More important, The Right Nation is a story of political elites that began as obsolete but well funded groups in the mid 20th century. It was driven by the dislike of the prevailing consensus on state intervention that was geared towards modernizing America (Micklethwait & Wooldridge 2004). Today, they are the institutions that have the most direct involvement in the America's wide range of state-funded bodies. By the 1970s, these powerful groups had become a network, of political ideas rather than big state solutions. The political class was by then divided into two groups i.e. the elites and the foot soldiers (Micklethwait & Wooldridge 2004).

The earlier were focused on foreign and macro-economic policies while the latter were energized by gun control, taxation and property rights. This is evident of the fact that the so called foot soldiers were introduced into politics by an angry defense of the right to possess and use guns, to own and use their property as they desired and felt it right, and finally to use whatever money they earned or inherited. The new conservatives (disproportionately the Jewish and atheist) were always interested in acquiring political power, and seeing through this cause, they made common cause with the Christian militants.

Comparison

The authors of "The Right Nation" bring to our attention some essential American belief regarding its uniqueness and one based on goodness or rather sinlessness. To be able to sustain this belief, America needs to be protected from being influenced into foreign ideologies and practices such as secularism, pragmatism, pessimism, acceptance of dictatorial rule and ignorance of freedom. The achievement of this depends on the zeal and commitment with which America will be yanked back to its true tradition, which is diversely interpreted as Christian, republican and constitutional.      

Part of America's misfortune as described by Micklethwait and Wooldridge is the fact that few American democrats feel able to accept and draw sustenance from the country's radical and generous traditions and beliefs. With regards to Christian traditions, the American evangelicals of the current times commit what many refer to as Manichaeism. This is the belief that God's righteous are demanded to fight a constant war against the troupes of Satan, which from a deeper perspective can seem to mean the rest of the world.

"The Right Nation" and the movie "Jesus Camp" are quite complementary ideologically in more than one way. Just like the book which brings to our attention the desire of the conservationists to yank America back to its true tradition, which is diversely interpreted as Christian, republican and constitutional, the movie exposes us to the terror of watching children spend every moment of their young life trying to convert others, praying and working towards reclaiming America back to Christ (Stocker 2009).

Most political documentaries are usually slewed and comprise of manipulative narrations and shabby attempts at being objective. Unlike most of these political documentaries, Jesus Camp is even-handed where what was actually done was to sit with a camera and film what is really happening. This was irrespective of whether the subjects liked or did not like how they were portrayed. All they had were themselves to blame. The only voice of dissent that can be acknowledged in the movie was featured for only ten minutes (Stocker 2009).

The film introduces us to a couple of Evangelical kids from Missouri. The kids, key featured being Levi, Tori, and Rachel attended "Kids on Fire" camp also referred to as the Jesus Camp. Rachel is a self proclaimed missionary who at some point engages total strangers suggesting to them that unless they return to Christ, they are bound to go to hell. The kids' great enthusiasm is attributed to their pastor, Becky Fischer who runs the Kids on Fire camp. She is frighteningly incredible at what she does and her commanding presence and flourishing voice keeps the kids very attentive and holding onto her every word (Stocker 2009).

The parents in this setup are also for this teaching supporting every point of Becky Fischer's teachings. At the beginning of the film we encounter the kids being homeschooled with the parents teaching them ideologies like the inability of science to prove anything, global warming being fiction, and that the creation being the only theory that is sensible (Stocker 2009). All in all, just like the book "The Right Nation", the film is very powerful since it enlightens us about an expanding extremist culture that some individuals like to believe is a minor section of the population. It important to note though, that Evangelical Christians are taking America by storm. Evidently, the kids in this film will be running the affairs of America someday just as their predecessors are doing right now (Stocker 2009).

Evaluation

The book "The Right nation" and the movie "Jesus Camp" both introduce us to a group of conservatives who are kin to preserve their traditional beliefs, practices and teachings at whatever cost. The book offer social and historical analysis of ideas and beliefs that looks at how conservative ideologies became such a defining factor of American being. America has always been a fundamentally conservative nation whose revolution was majorly to do with the limitations on government power.

America conservatism in is just another example of their exceptionalism. One exceptional thing that about America is the super-patriotism, that demands of all functionalities to meet the standards of being American without taking much into account the actual historical origins of the thoughts, ideas and practices. Similarly, the movie exposes us to the terror of watching children spend every moment of their young life trying to convert others, praying and working towards reclaiming America back to Christ.

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