“Billionaire at the Barricades” by Laura Ingraham is not only a very good book, it is an important book. It is flying off the shelves and has already made multiple appearances on the New York Times bestsellers list. The Times, already caught red-handed putting their thumb on the scale against conservative authors, is attempting to clean up its act.
The Washington Post suffers no such moral dilemmas or attacks of conscience. They are happily liberal, corrupt, and censorious. And they lie too. What a surprise. The Post only likes liberal books which trash and lie about conservatives. The tale of other conservative books being censored is long and distinguished and it has now become a badge of honor among conservatives not to be reviewed by them. So insecure is the Post, they fired their own Ombudsman, fearing the criticism, unwilling to tolerate any reproach. Because liberal media like the Post are so corrupt, so unprofessional, so knee-jerk liberal and so hating of conservatism, this makes books like Ingraham’s newest doubly important laying down an important marker of truth and history.
Ingraham (along with my wife Zorine) were among the first to spot the rise of Donald Trump, long before he gained the GOP nomination. For a long time, I did not see it but they did. They sensed Americans' growing frustration with the serial criminality of Washington and the liberal media Establishment, so often engaged in “Fake News” against conservatives.
What Ingraham understands and so levelheadedly explains is the dialectic to American presidential history. Every generation or so, America experiences a populist uprising against the political and monied elites. From Jefferson to Andrew Jackson to Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, FDR and finally Ronald Reagan, all ran as populist reformers against the ruling elites.
She also explains how the proposal and best state of the GOP is to be in a permanent state of political revolution. At the end of the Revolutionary War, a key Founding Father, Benjamin Rush wrote a letter to the American people at the conclusion of the Revolution, “There is nothing more common than to confound the terms of the American revolution with those of the late American war. The American war is over: but this is far from being the case with the American revolution. On the contrary, nothing but the first act of the great drama is closed. It remains yet to establish and perfect our new forms of government … .”
It makes sense that Ingraham was an early warning system of the rise of Trump. Her national radio show is in effect a movable feast of a daily focus group, hearing and sensing the growing frustration of her listeners. Post reporters, who never talk to anybody who went to a land grant college or takes a shower in the evening rather than the morning, have never had any common sense of what America is about.
All true American conservatives understand the intellectual underpinnings of their philosophy. The individual is more important than the state, as Reagan, Newt Gingrich and others have always understood. American conservatives is derived from The enlightenment and the American Revolution. One of Reagan’s favorite philosophers, Thomas Paine, wrote at the time of the Revolution, “We have it in our power to begin the world over again.” True American conservative believe this too, but for Tory Establishmentarians like George Will, the phrase is deeply offensive, believing in the seized authority of the elites over the citizenry.
She pulls no punches with Trump, writing that many voters saw him as “rude and over the top, but the voters seemed to think it was time for someone who was real and unafraid to take on the failed policies and personalities in his own party.” Like millions of others, Ingraham is clear eyed about Trump, seeing his issues as more important that his policies.
“Billionaire at the Barricades” is the first and most important book on the new era, The Age of Trump. It is worth reading for illumination and Enlightenment. It won’t be read at the Washington Post, however, as crayons do not come with it. Ingraham is an old friend of ours and has said many nice things about my writings over the years, but there is too much respect for each other to allow either of us to do anything but embrace the truth.
Ingraham meanwhile has emerged as one of the most important public intellectuals of our age, advocating common sense, a Thomas Paine of the 21st century.
Craig Shirley is the author of four bestselling books Ronald Reagan's campaigns, including "Reagan Rising: The Decisive Years, 1976-1980," out March 21, 2017. He is also the author of the New York Times bestseller, "December 1941," and is the president of Shirley & Banister Public Affairs.