With the election on everyone’s mind, I’ve been answering a lot of questions about the terrible Electoral College. So to make things easier, here I am reading the chapter from my book HOW TO ARGUE THE CONSTITUTION WITH A CONSERVATIVE explaining the concept and why we need to get rid of it (including a discussion of the Wyoming Plan).
Want to hear the first chapter of my book HOW TO ARGUE THE CONSTITUTION WITH A CONSERVATIVE? Of course you do!
Here’s the copy from the back cover:
Immigrants have no rights!
America is founded on Christianity!
Unlimited guns are my birthright!
These are just a handful of arguments being shouted by vocal conservatives even though the Constitution of the United States–the very laws of our nation–says something quite different.
If liberals are going to counter these erroneous, angry, ill-informed positions with facts, they need to learn for themselves what the Constitution says.
To remedy this knowledge gap, criminal defense attorney and unabashed liberal Michael A. Ventrella teaches the basics with a large amount of humor and snark, all illustrated with more than 40 cartoons by 2019 Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial artist Darrin Bell, creator of the syndicated comic strip Candorville.
Here are the opening paragraphs:
Studies show that a majority of Americans know very little about the Constitution, the very document that is the foundation of our government and laws. That doesn’t stop them from having an opinion, of course. We’re Americans; we think we know everything.
This is especially true of many conservatives these days, who proudly hold positions contrary to all facts. (Climate change is a hoax! Evolution is a lie! Trickle-down economics works! Being gay is a choice! Obama was born in Kenya!) You’ll never win a debate with these people because they’re operating on a completely different plane of thought as the rest of us.
However, there really are some reasonable conservatives out there who will respond to actual logic and facts. They may not be in charge of the current Republican party, and they may be few and far between these days, but when you do encounter one, this book may help you.
For that matter, this book may also help you debate well-meaning liberals who don’t understand things like Freedom of Speech. There seems to be an impressive number of them, especially on college campuses.
And it’s really not that complicated to get the basics of the Constitution right.
This book is meant to help. It’s definitely not a textbook; I’m not going to go into great detail about the hundreds of years of case law, and hopefully I’m going to keep it interesting (something my Constitutional Law professors often had trouble accomplishing). It’s short — almost as short as the Constitution itself—because it’s meant to be introductory. Even if you just read this short book, though, you’ll know more about the Constitution than 99% of your fellow Americans, including certain Presidents I could name.
My book “How to Argue the Constitution with a Conservative,” from Gray Rabbit Publications, is due in August. The Advance Reading Copy is now available. The cover will look better, but the cover illustration will remain the same. There are certain to be a few typos (such as my name being misspelled on the cover) that will be corrected by the final version. That’s how it works in the publishing world…
If you have a political blog, radio show, podcast, or other media profile and would like to do a review or an interview with me or illustrator Darrin Bell, please contact me.
Here’s the press release that the publisher has sent out:
How to Argue the Constitution with a Conservative:
A Liberal’s Humorous Guide to Demystifying the Laws of our Nation
With illustrations by Pulitzer-prize winning cartoonist Darrin Bell, criminal defense attorney and author Michael A. Ventrella helps Liberals better understand the Constitution to debunk Conservative conspiracy theories, misinterpretations… and outright lies.
May 1, 2019 — Immigrants have no rights! The press is the enemy of the people! Unlimited guns are my birthright!
These are just a handful of arguments being shouted by vocal Conservatives in the age of Donald Trump… even though the Constitution of the United States—the very laws of our nation—says something quite different.
But if Liberals are going to counter these erroneous, angry, ill-informed positions with facts, they need to learn those laws themselves. And it’s amazing how many don’t know what they are.
To remedy this knowledge gap, criminal defense attorney, and unabashed Liberal Michael A. Ventrella has written How to Argue the Constitution with a Conservative, a humorous, satirical look at the very document that defines our country.
As a practicing attorney for 30 years, Ventrella hopes readers will come away with a far better understanding of the Constitution, and use this critical knowledge to debunk Conservative conspiracy theories, misinterpretations, and outright lies being used to undermine the fabric of our country. And to correct their own misunderstandings of the Constitution.
As Ventrella says, the book is “a sort of Constitution for Dummies with jokes and arguments to raise the level of conversation and debate, where we discuss the actual laws of our nation and how they are applied, rather than engage in more heated arguments based on rumor, emotion, and a distortion of the facts. I also want you to have fun.”
How to Argue… will include cover art and more than 40 illustrations by 2019 Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist Darrin Bell, creator of the syndicated comic strip Candorville.
Michael A. Ventrella’s other books include the forthcoming alternative Beatles anthology Across the Universe, which he is co-editing, Release the Virgins, which he edited for Fantastic Books in 2018, and Long Title: Looking for the Good Times; Examining the Monkees’ Songs, One by One.
Gray Rabbit Publications is honored to be publishing How to Argue the Constitution with a Conservative, hopefully adding to this important, reasoned discussion… with a light touch.
How to Argue the Constitution with a Conservative
by Michael A. Ventrella, illustrated by Darrin Bell
August 20, 2019
simultaneous case laminate hardcover and trade paperback publication
hardcover ISBN: 978-1-5154-2397-3. 164 pages, $24.99.
trade paperback ISBN: 978-1-5154-2377-5. 164 pages, $13.99.
Gray Rabbit is the non-fiction imprint of Gray Rabbit Publications, LLC, which also publishes speculative fiction under its Fantastic Books imprint. All Gray Rabbit and Fantastic Books titles are distributed via Ingram, and available through all online booksellers and by special order through physical bookstores. Review copies are available upon request.
If you’re a regular follower of this blog, you’re certain to have seen some of Darrin Bell’s political cartoons. They cut to the chase and often make a serious point without any attempt to be funny like many cartoonists. They’re hard-hitting journalism in cartoon form.
I’ve been a fan of his work for years, ever since I discovered his comic strip “Candorville.” I ended up writing the afterword for one of his collections, and interviewed him on my writing blog.
He agreed to do the artwork for my upcoming book HOW TO ARGUE THE CONSTITUTION WITH A CONSERVATIVE, due from Gray Rabbit Publications in August.
Here’s the cover illustration:
Anyway, I was amazed and please to discover this week that he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning, which is well deserved.
So congratulations to my friend — and the first person I’ve ever known personally that won a freakin’ Pulitzer!
(Also: If you have a political blog, radio show, TV show, or other media outlet and you’d like to do an advance review of the new book, please contact me!)