Too Dumb to Fail

Too Dumb to Fail

How the GOP Betrayed the Reagan Revolution to Win Elections (and How It Can Reclaim Its Conservative Roots)

Book - 2016
Average Rating:
Rate this:
From a leading voice among young conservatives, an impassioned argument that to stay relevant the Republican Party must look beyond short-term electoral gains and re-commit to historic conservative values.

In 1963 Richard Hofstadter published his landmark book Anti-Intellectualism in American Life. Today, Matt Lewis argues, America's inclination toward simplicity and stupidity is stronger than ever, and its greatest victim is the Republican Party. Lewis, a respected conservative columnist and frequent guest on MSNBC's Morning Joe, eviscerates the phenomenon of candidates with a "no experience required" mentality and tea party "patriots" who possess bluster but few core beliefs.

Lewis traces the conservative movement's roots, from Edmund Burke to William F. Buckley, and from Goldwater's loss to Reagan's landslide victory. He highlights visionary thinkers who understood nuance and deep ideology and changed the course of the nation. As we approach the 2016 presidential election, Lewis has an urgent message for fellow conservatives: embrace wisdom, humility, qualifications, and inclusion--or face extinction.
Publisher: New York :, Hachette Books,, [2016]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780316383936
Branch Call Number: 324.2734 Lewis 01/2016
Characteristics: xxvi, 230 pages ;,24 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

May 30, 2017

Despite its tantalizing title, the book contains more complaining how people don’t appreciate his heroes than about how to counter "the Con$ervative Movement" with better ideas. I could accept the assertion that Ronald Reagan was an unacknowledged intellectual, maybe, but not the claim that the Koch brothers are generous philanthropists. Lewis’s book fits this criticism: “The average conservative reformist output consists of about three articles bashing liberal statism for every one questioning Republican dogma.” (national journalist Ryan Cooper, cited by E. J. Dionne, in Why the Right Went Wrong, page 420) You can learn some interesting things from Too Dumb to Fail, but it’s not a satisfying explanation of ways the party could fulfill its Burkean destiny and temper American progress with proper caution. He should’ve made this book much shorter and stuck to supporting his key points with giving examples of the better ideas conservative thought might offer. Apparently, the author is neither the intellect nor the writer that he thinks he is.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at My Library

To Top