Richard Bernstein is the author of Duped America: How Democrats And The Mainstream Media Have Duped The American People And Are Harming Our Country. The former Democrat turned Republican describes himself as “not a professional pundit, politician or celebrity, but rather an ordinary American very concerned about the future of our country.”
Bernstein recently agreed to answer 10 questions about himself and his book for The Daily Caller:
1. Why did you write this book?
I wrote Duped America because I believe it is critical that American people understand how and why they have been purposely misled by Democrats and the mainstream media — for years — regarding so many issues.
More importantly, I wanted all the information to be contained in a single book. Americans need a comprehensive overview on a variety of subjects in order to better understand how they’ve been manipulated.
I believe Duped America is that book.
2. Was there a single event that made you turn against the Democratic Party?
Absolutely: the about-face Democrats did regarding the war in Iraq. The same politicians who authorized the use of force, the ones with quote after quote all over the Internet about the need to remove Saddam Hussein from power, “suddenly” discovered they were anti-war.
Why the change of heart? Because radical anti-war leftists Howard Dean and Dennis Kucinich were polling one-two in the 2004 Democratic presidential primaries. The same Democrat Party which, immediately following 9/11, told America they would stand “shoulder to shoulder” with a wartime president decided to embrace the slogan, “Bush lied and people died.”
Democrats playing politics while American men and women were in harm’s way in Iraq and Afghanistan was the final straw for me.
3. How are the Democrats leaving us more vulnerable to our enemies, as you say in the book?
In the war against radical Islam, intelligence is critical. Unfortunately, Democrats don’t seem to understand this. Soon after taking office, President Obama suspended the use of enhanced interrogations, despite the irrefutable fact that such intelligence prevented further attacks.
Furthermore, the Obama administration is now giving Miranda rights to terrorists, including high-level ones, captured on the battlefield. How do you obtain valuable intel if you encourage terrorists to remain silent?
And Democrats’ missile defense cuts, reducing the number of ground-based interceptors in Alaska from 44 to 30, are inexcusable, as is their almost complete elimination of the Airborne Laser program, which is perhaps our best defense against the possibility of an electromagnetic pulse attack.
A single EMP attack could devastate our electrical grid for years.
Finally, the Democrats’ attempt to criminalize the actions of CIA interrogators and Defense Department attorneys under the Bush administration has demoralized the CIA. Why should intelligence agents take risks to protect our country if they can be prosecuted by subsequent administrations?
4. I take it from your book that you are not a big fan of “green jobs.” Why?
Because I believe practical application trumps feel-good theory. Spain, which embraced the “green mania,” discovered that every green job created resulted in 2.2 non-green jobs being lost.
Why? Because just one-in-ten green jobs is a permanent one, according to Spain’s experience. Permanent jobs deal with the actual operation and maintenance of renewable sources of electricity. The rest? Temporary employment in construction, fabrication, installation and project engineering phases.
More importantly, the green jobs agenda is not about creating jobs. It’s about adopting a centralized planning model for our federal government, one in which winners and losers are determined by politicians and bureaucrats.
In a word, it’s Marxism.
5. How do you think President Obama has fared to date?
To put it rather bluntly, I think former president Jimmy Carter might be the happiest man in America. His reputation among many Americans as the “worst president in history” may soon be overshadowed.
Seriously, Barack Obama and his fellow Democrats have made the irresponsible spending by the Bush administration and a Republican Congress look positively puny by comparison. The largest deficit the Bush administration ran in his eight years was $466 billion in 2008.
In their first two budgets, Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress have run deficits more than triple that amount for fiscal years 2010 and 2011. According to the Office of Management and Budget, the federal deficit will increase by $9 trillion over the next decade.
And that’s optimistic. The actual amount will be much higher, since their estimate didn’t include the healthcare bill and additional spending planned by the Democrats.
The president has also failed to create anything resembling favorable conditions for private job creation: huge job-killing tax increases planned for next year, the aforementioned healthcare bill and a dubious new regulatory environment have created tremendous uncertainty in the business community.
Uncertainty is poison with regard to job creation.
That’s only on the domestic side. Obama’s hopey-changey approach to world affairs has done little more than embolden our enemies and alienate our friends.
6. Do you have anyone you want to support for president in 2012?
Like many Americans, fiscal conservatives get my nod. Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, and Mitch Daniels come immediately to mind.
7. Why were you ever a Democrat to begin with?
As they say in Fiddler on the Roof, “tradition.” I was born into a Jewish family that always voted Democrat. I suspect I was like a lot of Democrats who reflexively vote for a Democrat candidate, even when they don’t know what he or she really stands for.
8. The title of your book indicates that you are not only not a fan of Democrats, but you don’t like the Mainstream Media either. Where do you get your information? What newspapers or online sites do you read, and what news shows do you watch on television?
I read my local newspaper, which only gives me a basic — and sometimes misleading — idea of what’s going on. I read The Wall Street Journal daily. I also subscribe to the print versions of Human Events, The Weekly Standard, National Review, The American Spectator and Commentary. Online, I check out the op-eds at Investor’s Business Daily.
On TV, it’s Fox News, including Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Greta Van Susteren, Special Report with Bret Baier and The Wall Street Journal Report.
To see other viewpoints, I watch the Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow shows on MSNBC.
9. What are the three most important books that have influenced your thinking?
Reckless Disregard by Lt. Col. Robert Patterson, Party of Defeat by David Horowitz and Shadow Warriors by Kenneth Timmerman. After 9/11, national security became the issue for me. These books helped me discover how dangerous the Democrat Party’s track record of protecting America has been over the past 40 years.
10. With one book done, any plans to write another? If so, what about?
Right now, I’m taking a breather. In the meantime, I’m hoping Duped America resonates with enough Americans to make a difference in the mid-term elections, the election in 2012 and beyond. I also hope the American people hold the mainstream media accountable and demand that they get back to reporting the news — not opinion masquerading as fact.
One last thing: I hope I never have to write a book called “Duped–Again.”