Book Review: Republican Party Animal (guest post from Karl Ushanka)

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Special guest post by Karl Ushanka

Book Review: Republican Party Animal, by David Cole, 2014, 319 pages.

Short Review:

Republican Party Animal is a fantastic and entertaining story about a man whose strengths of work-ethic, principles and objectivity were betrayed by his effectiveness and his piss-poor judgement in women.  Do not be fooled by the title, politics rarely makes an appearance in this book.  It is David Cole telling his very personal, and sometimes terrifying story of emotional and professional ups and downs.  I highly recommend this book.

Long Review – Preface:

I am a retired blogger, so I had to find another site to share this review.  I don’t have any obligation to write a review, which I hope you will see as an added endorsement for this book.

Further, because Holocaust revisionism is a topic within this very personal story, I chose to post this review on the Savage Hippie Podcast blog, which the author is a member.  I am blind and indifferent to the “Jew” issue and to the Nazi side of the second world war.  A solid C student in high school, I memorized only the material I had to to graduate. And the only information on the topic of WWII I needed to know was that six million Jews were killed by the Nazis.  Having read Republican Party Animal, I am more aware that many have strong feelings on the topic of this particular religion and history.  So I’d hate to ask another blogger to publish my review, only to find out they had an ulterior motive for doing so.

Also, part of my appreciation for the Republican Party Animal story is that I found many parallels with my life.  I lived in the Los Angeles area during the same time as this story.  I am sympathetic to the author’s women troubles as I discovered, after moving to LA from the mid-west at age 19, that California women carry more than their share of problems. I too have been blacklisted in my career for objective academic work. I too think my approach to politics is like the author’s – more of a common-sense journey rather than partisan score-keeping.  And last, I’ve experienced what peer-pressure, intimidation and groupthink can do to groups and individuals with similar beliefs and backgrounds.  Cole’s story was a powerful re-play for me, and it is a good warning to others.

David Cole should have had a champion.  Perhaps Dr. Carlos Huerta, an Army veteran, fellow Jew and Holocaust researcher Cole mentions early in the book.  Huerta reminds me of many people I served with in the Army: fair, honest, and not threatened by differing opinions.

Cole set out at a young age to research an important historic event, and he found some information that did not fit the narrative.  He followed that information to compelling evidence, as any honest researcher would do.  He did everything right, but the topic was the Holocaust, and any information that does not fit the narrative is taboo.  Had he had a mentor and a champion to help him appreciate his audience, help him navigate the waters, and defend his work, his story would be much different.

He shelved his research when he received his first death threat.  But that wasn’t enough.  He had to change his identity in order to move onto his second life – that of a GOP mover and shaker in enemy territory – Hollywood California.

It is fascinating how the author moved up through the ranks of the Friends of Abe group of Hollywood conservatives as he did earlier with his Holocaust research.  He did it in Hollywood with old-fashioned hard work, using his organizational and event-managements skills to help mold the group into a nationally recognized GOP oasis in California.  He understood the vision of the Abe leaders, and he worked in that direction.  Remove the politics from this story, and it reads like a simple roadmap for success.

The author was known as a man who “could get things done.”  This is the absolute best compliment for anyone who has ever had to accomplish things through people who had various, and sometimes conflicting, agendas and motivations.

Republican Party Animal offers an honest and candid review of Cole’s decisions.  And not all of them were good.  He had several dysfunctional relationships with women. The last gal mentioned ruined his incredible run in Hollywood.  But that betrayal was just the first of many as it caused a split between the author and hundreds of his Hollywood friends and GOP contacts.

He was betrayed by people who would profess to be loyal.  They were anything but, and that angered this reader.  This mass betrayal, this peer-pressure cliquish petty groupthink among like-minded friends was as disgusting as it was swift.  You’ll read about how, in just hours, the author’s entire network of friends and industry professionals evaporated.

Last, I experienced a Forrest Gump-like feeling from this book.  If you’ve heard Mr. Cole speak in the Savage Hippie Podcast or elsewhere, you’ll know he is a story-teller.  He has plenty of stories and a knack for telling them.  He and I are close in age, and during the period of this book he and I were both in Los Angeles.  His chronological story referenced many local, national and international events that I was familiar with, and I enjoyed the story even more with the shared nostalgia.  And I even picked up on the many movie references.

The author seems to be in limbo now, with a few too many empty bottles to show for it.  He was a winner in the two challenges he faced, and I’d like to think he is just resting for a third run to greatness.

I have added Republican Party Animal to my lengthy book list at my blog.

Karl is retired from blogging at Ushanka.us, where he ‘tracked communist activities globally, and communist inspirations nationally’ for over ten years.  He recently published Trade the Ratio, a book about precious metals investing.  He is currently working on his next book – about another betrayal within the Republican Party.