At Gear Diary, we get a lot of press releases and product pitches. Most of them are tech or gear related, and sometimes they are not. Most of the time these pitches are quickly processed, and we’ll quickly decide to either post on them or not. Yesterday we got an email that begged for a direct answer rather than a quick delete, which is why I am sharing my open letter to the pr person who thought that Gear Diary would be interested in the book “Restore The Future”.
Fair warning: this will get political, so if you aren’t interested in social issues, now is your chance to click away.
I won’t give you the rep’s entire email, but here are the relevant parts:
2012 is the year of the nonviolent revolution, according to Donald H. Young, author of Restore the Future. His main theory? Restore the government to its constitutional principles. Young believes if we don’t adopt the constitutional form of government we once had, the U.S. might lose its position as a super power. His new book outlines his objectives:
-Restore the Constitution to its critical role in our society as one of our key founding documents
-Roll back all the changes in our government that have been justified by the view that the Constitution is a “living document” (emphasis mine)
-Revitalize American people to demand a future for their children and grandchildren which will inspire and reward them
-Bring back the hope and opportunity which have always characterized American society
So here is what I would like to say to the rep in response (you might want to look the book up on Amazon and check out the “Look Inside” feature, so you’ll know what got me so fired up):
Thanks for sending your email along to Gear Diary. We are probably not the right site to cover this book, because quite frankly none of us would be able to cover it fairly.
I did some digging into the book and made use of Amazon’s “Look Inside” feature to learn more; I’m sure that you won’t mind that I took the liberty of taking a few screenshots as excerpts to illustrate my points. What I have learned is that Mr Young and I have so little in common that were we to speak ideologically, it would probably get quite ugly. For starters, I do not believe the fabric of America is being ripped apart by lack of a universal religion . Nor do I think abortion is a moral sin. I am also very confused as to how abortion is a sin but single mothers are just as bad. So if you do speak to Mr Young, please ask him exactly what he would suggest to a single pregnant woman… She apparently has to have the baby, but she can’t raise it?
I would ask if Mr Young has a callous disregard for women’s rights, but I already know the answer. Based on his desire to roll back the idea of the constitution as a “living document”, I can only assume he means women should not have the right to vote, nor should slavery have been abolished. After all, both of these changes happened well after the founding fathers were gone.
I happen to agree with the points made by Thurgood Marshall, in his 1987 speech given as part of the constitutional bicentennial celebration:
“To the contrary, the government [the founding fathers] devised was defective from the start, requiring several amendments, a civil war, and momentous social transformation to attain the system of constitutional government, and its respect for the individual freedoms and human rights, we hold as fundamental today. When contemporary Americans cite “The Constitution,” they invoke a concept that is vastly different from what the Framers barely began to construct two centuries ago.”
So as you can see, it doesn’t look like I will be a very good reviewer for Mr Young’s book. If these are the types of titles you cover, please go ahead and remove us from your mailing list. The world is frightening enough on a regular basis without the knowledge that bigoted, sexist fear-mongers like Mr Young are out there too.
Thanks and have a great day!
And seriously, if you read this far and you haven’t read these and some of the other excerpts available on Amazon, head over there. Regardless of how you feel about the subject matter, I think we can all agree that a book that reads like the final paper from a freshman who slept through 3/4 of his “Intro to Philosophy” class does nothing to bring the discourse forwards!
And Mr Young, if you should happen to stumble across this, my advice would be that you stick to your day job.