King George, Virginia


Title: Don’t Hurt People, and Don’t Take Their Stuff


Author:  Matt Kibbe

Copyright: 2014

Reviewed by: James Hull


Main theme:

The road to restoring America’s greatness and best serving her population is to change government so that government and the people abide by the rules for liberty, namely:

  • Don’t hurt people

  • Don’t take people’s stuff

  • Take responsibility

  • Work for it

  • Mind your own business

  • Fight the power


About the Author (from the front cover): 

Matt Kibbe is the president and CEO of FreedomWorks, a national grassroots organization that serves citizens in their fight for more individual freedom and less government control.  An economist by training, Kibbe is a well-respected policy expert, bestselling author, and a regular guest on CNN, FoxNews, The Blaze TV, and MSNBC.  He also serves as Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Austrian Economic Center in Vienna, Austria.  Kibbe is the author of the national bestseller Hostile Takeover: Resisting Centralized Government’s Stranglehold on America (2012), and co-author of Give Us Liberty: A Tea Party Manifesto (2010).  Terry, his awesome wife of twenty-seven years, takes no responsibility for his many mistakes or frequent embarrassments.


Context of the Book (from the inside flap):

Our government is out of control.  But setting things right again requires that you step up and take your freedom back.  In order to accomplish that, Matt Kibbe, the influential leader of FreedomWorks, wrote Don’t Hurt People and Don’t Take Their Stuff as the first true manifesto of a new libertarian grassroots movement.  As political powermongers and crony corporatists in Washington continue to consolidate their control and infringe on our most fundamental liberties, Kibbe makes the libertarian case for freer people, more voluntary cooperation, and solving problems from the bottom up.  Simple and straightforward, that’s liberty in a nutshell –no assembly required.


Context of the Book’s Review:

The King George TEA Party needs to identify the things it wants to do for the next 2-1/2 years as our country ramps-up to both the 2014 mid-term and 2016 general elections.  Within the context of Matt Kibbe’s self-declared “manifesto” it was expected that this book would identify things we, the TEA Party could do that builds upon our declared principles and values and advances the restoration of our country.  In short, the reviewer was looking for some input and guidance from this book to shape the effectiveness of TEA Party activism.


The thesis of the book:

The thesis of this book is the premise that reversing the current course of increasing government control and regulation will unleash the pent-up potential of the American people. The Constitutional form of government envisioned by the Founding Fathers has created the most exceptional and prosperous country in the world.  That form of government is in jeopardy.  The 5 Rules for Liberty outlined above are the simple guides that, if used to change current government policy, will re-establish Constitutional government and align the country’s direction as originally intended by the Founding Fathers.


Reviewer’s thesis of the book:

My thesis of this book is that the author has provided a well-founded justification and framework for operational level goals (within the spectrum of the strategic, operational, and tactical) for restoration of our government’s restoration.  These can serve as good guidance for positive policy change for this country. This focus on the operational level of activity did not, however, present a tangible “to do” list for the average reader.


Summary of Content:

The majority of the book is a great background and history of the TEA Party movement, a good bit about what the looming threat of overarching government control has done to motivate average American citizens to align with the TEA Party, and some current-event information that illustrates the brokenness of government today.  This all seems to be the background to the chapter titled “Twelve Steps” which is Kibbe’s prescription to fix government.  Unfortunately, none of the 12 Steps are anything that an average citizen can actually accomplish and thus the list is lost on the reader.


For example, Step 1 is “Comply with the Laws you Pass,” a dictate to government lawmakers to abide by what they enact.  There is nothing that the average citizen can actually do to force them to do that, outside of voting them out of office and voting more responsive lawmakers to take their place.  Of the 12, only the last one, “Defend Your Right to Know,” is something that could be controlled by the average citizen and the answer is, basically, for the citizen to become more active in social media and overcome proposed regulations.


Analysis and Evaluation of the Book:

This was a fair book, easy to read, and provided good insight into the goals of the pure Libertarian as well as the rise of the TEA Party from one of the central figures.


Conclusion:

A recommended read for operational planning of Constitutional restoration.