The Ranting of an Uneducated Reactionary
Shyman and Shyster Publishing (2022)
Reviewed by Terri Stepek for Reader Views (09/2022)
These days it’s easy to hear the opinions of political pundits. Radio, TV, printed media, and the internet are all bursting with those who wish to tell the rest of us their version of the current state of our country. Perhaps because these times are so unprecedented, many of us are seeking to understand why the political landscape seems to be shifting like a bad day on the San Andreas fault line.
Like a voice in the wilderness, author Oscar Phillips has been seeking to enlighten and encourage others in his local arena for years. A self-proclaimed “political junkie,” Mr. Phillips has sought political views from both the left and right. He wrote his first opinion piece for the local paper in 1996, in response to a town forum on racism. This book includes many of his op-eds since then along with essays on topics as far-ranging as college campus liberalism, feminism, constitutionalism, social programming, the LGBTQ community, Christians, Jews, social values, and even Jane Fonda’s Vietnam years. Throughout the book, Mr. Phillips focuses on the key differences between socialism, communism, fascism, Nazism, and democracy.
The author refers to himself as uneducated in the sense that he has no formal education in political science. That should not be misconstrued as ignorance of all things political. Throughout this book, it is apparent that Mr. Phillips has done his due diligence. In fact, his passion for national politics is quite evident in his words and tone, giving the reader a peek into the visceral nature of his beliefs.
So, what can the reader expect to find? Probably first and foremost, no one, no institution, no political party, or current event, is safe from the opinions of the author. What the reader gets is his unvarnished, “pull-no-punches” commentary. Very few readers will be able to read the book in its entirety without feeling the lash of his literary tongue at some point.
What do the following words and phrases presently have in common? Free-market types; the stars and stripes; the rich; the greeting “Merry Christmas,” the red, white and blue; the Catholic church; blonde hair and blue-eyed; God, country and hunting; Christians; and white people. The answer; They’re all pejoratives.”—page 25
The reader will find an author who is well read and knowledgeable, with an impressive vocabulary and a very keen opinion on political/social matters. Mr. Phillips expresses his views with a point-blank determination, although not always succinctly. While he frequently corroborates his arguments with examples, there are times he seems to fall into a circular form of reasoning. He also seems to revel in the figurative ruffling of feathers, as this book will do for many.
As a reviewer, I feel that my job is to give potential readers information that will help them determine if this is a book they might enjoy. As such, I will not indicate my opinion of the author’s expressed views, whether positive or negative. While I hesitate to pigeonhole this work, “The Ranting of an Uneducated Reactionary” by Oscar Phillips is most likely to be appreciated by readers whose political views lean toward right-wing conservatism.