I started Michele Bachmann's Core of Conviction: My Story.
am I reading this book, when she's out of the race for U.S. President,
and arguably is not as popular or prominent as she once was? I did not
particularly care for Michele Bachmann back when she was popular and
prominent (not that I knew her personally, then or now). This was for a
variety of reasons: my
dislike for evangelicalism, and my hatred of right-wing judgmentalism
and hypocrisy. (In Michele Bachmann's case, she and her husband have
both received money from the government.)
But now that she's not
as much of a power-player, I've decided to read her book, for I have a
certain degree of nostalgia when it comes to the religious right (not
that I agree with it on much these days). I've long enjoyed reading the
religious right's revisionist history, and also reading about the
religious right itself, for part of me admires people who stand for
their principles as underdogs against the establishment. Part of me
also is drawn to the simplicity of the religious right's worldview (or
my impression of that worldview): that America would be all right if
people believed in the Bible, loved their families, and worked hard,
just like Americans supposedly did in the good old days.
level, such themes are present in Bachmann's book. Regarding the
underdog theme, the book opens with Bachmann unexpectedly defeating a
Republican state senator whom she and others considered to be too
liberal. She went to a G.O.P. convention in jeans and a torn sweater to
express concerns about the senator's nomination, and (to her surprise)
she ended up becoming the opposition candidate and won after the senator
condescendingly dismissed her speech as the evening's entertainment.
Michele then had to come home and tell her family the news!
then talks about her salt-of-the earth ancestors, some of whom were
Norwegian immigrants, and also the family of her upbringing. Much of
her family was Democrat, but her well-read grandmother on her father's
side was a Republican. When Michele's dad was debating the Republican
grandmother on the Great Society back when Michele was a kid, the
grandmother said that Michele and her brother would have to be the ones
who'd pay for the programs. Michele says that she was then sensitized
to the fact that government programs have to be paid for.
from pages 6-7 stood out to me. Bachmann is talking about her speech to
the Republican convention, when she was running against the state
senator. She says that her "neighbors and fellow Republicans were happy
to hear someone speak clear words, words that expressed their own faith
and beliefs." I find this sort of thing to be true in the blogosophere
as well: People are not always drawn to blogs that think outside of the
box; rather, many are drawn to blogs that express clearly and
forcefully what they already believe. They then feel elated that
someone else feels the same way.