Andrew Sullivan’s Conservative Soul: How We Lost It, How to Get It Back? Review

By Amelia Gutierrez

With passion, carefulness and courage, Andrew Sullivan releases years of built up frustration with the Bush administration, the Republican Party and the idea of conservatism in his novel “Conservative Soul: How We Lost It, How to Get It Back?”. Sullivan speaks after decades of pondering the disappointing choices and changes the Republican Party has made throughout the years. Sullivan, who considered himself a conservative, writes that the idea of conservatism is now in “eclipse” and the policies and philosophy the Republican Party stands for today has become the reason for his detachment to the party.

Sullivan focuses his novel on the Bush administration and how it has helped distance the Republican Party from the very conservative principles that the party rooted from. Sullivan gives readers his views on what conservatism is and provides detailed reasons about why he feels this way and what can be done to steer the Republican Party back to its original beliefs.

With an objective approach, Sullivan writes with true concern of losing the “conservative principles” completely if conservatives continue with the current path of new conservatism. In the chapters The Fundamentalist Psyche and The Theo-Conservative Project, Sullivan explains with great detail what the fundamentalism and conservatism mean, the significance of them, and why they are both “indispensable to understanding the radically new policies of bush administration, domestically and abroad”.

For Sullivan, the mind-set of a fundamentalist is “a fearful insistence on a faith in all its particulars, and an equally clear sense of those who are saved and those who are not”. He brings up the most recognized religious argument “natural law” as an explanation to the change of conservatism in the past years, because of the challenge it has imposed to the “fragile pluralism and secularism” of today’s West.

Sullivan’s powerful and highly opinionated novel is his plea for the far right to rescue conservatism by scrutinizing the roots of the Bush administration psychologically and philosophically. Some will or already view Sullivan as a hypocrite for supporting the Bush administration and then repudiating it, while others view him as a courageous political figure for realizing the wrong-doings of the Bush movement.

Published in: on March 24, 2011 at 6:29 am  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Very good, Amelia!

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