Friday, January 1, 2010

John Lawrence Hill's "The Political Centrist"

John Lawrence Hill is Professor of Law and Adjunct Professor of Philosophy, Indiana University at Indianapolis.

He applied the “Page 99 Test” to his new book, The Political Centrist, and reported the following:
Page 99 of The Political Centrist is broadly representative of the book. On that page, I am discussing a constitutional case, DeShaney v Winnebago County Social Service Agency. In this tragic case, a father beat his four-year old son so severely that it left the boy, Joshua, brain damaged and mentally handicapped for life. Rather than suing the father (who was probably not well-off), the boy’s lawyers sued the government. Their theory was that the social service agency should have prevented the beating since there was some evidence that they had received an anonymous report of previous abuse. As tragic as the case is, and as sympathetic as any sensitive person will be to poor Joshua, his injuries were not the government’s responsibility. Justice Brennan’s dissent argued that the agency was responsible since, by creating a state agency, society discourages direct intervention by neighbors or others.

The Chapter in which this discussion takes place is entitled: “Between the Night Watchman and the Leviathan: The Centrist’s Conception of Government.” The chapter offers an approach to government that steers a coherent and sensible middle course between “progressive” and “conservative” ideas of government. More generally, the book offers a sound and principled middle way between contemporary liberalism and conservatism as these terns are understood today. Other chapters address such issues as abortion, capital punishment, illegal immigration, drug legalization, affirmative action, gay marriage and several other hot button contemporary issues.
Read the introduction to The Political Centrist, and learn more about the book at the publisher's website.

--Marshal Zeringue