I try to space out my political reading, especially during an election year. I often find it equal parts enraging and frustrating and I wind up in a funk for several days after reading. What’s great about Naomi Wolf’s book is that it doesn’t just make you mad, it tells you how and where to channel that anger into something constructive. Give Me Liberty is exactly what its title suggests it is. But it is also a guide for us as citizens to re-involve ourselves in the political process.
Ms. Wolf starts by dissecting the Declaration of Independence. She parses the most quoted and misinterpreted passage regarding “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” and then moves on the the rest of document which states that it is our duty as citizens to be active, involved and constantly vigilant for governmental abuse. She then goes on to tell about how citizens were encouraged to be involved in government until very recently. They were even given a citizens handbook that explained to them their rights and responsibilities. This all changed with the political unrest of the 1960s when politicians became what she described as a “priestly caste” who cloaked their procedures in legalese that is unintelligible to the average citizen. After that the book explains the ways in which government has slowly eroded our rights over the decades and what we have the right to do in response. The final chapters I skimmed somewhat. They detail all the ways in which you can take action and become involved; everything from starting a petition to running for office.
I’d highly recommend this book for anyone frustrated with the current political landscape. Even if you are not a dyed-in-the-wool liberal like Naomi Wolf. Everyone should get involved in the political process; conservatives, liberals and everything in between. It’s our duty as Americans to be an informed and involved electorate.