Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph; a book review

American Values, Leftist or Progressive Values, and the Islamist Value Set and Dominance Agenda

Copyright © ; all rights reserved; content may not be copied, rewritten, or republished without author’s written permission; Author’s Google profile; Posted September 29, 2012

Dennis Prager speaking at California Govenor's podium; photo courtesy Nate Mandos


Still the Best Hope (ISBN: 9780061985126; ISBN10: 0061985120), was released in 2012 published by Broadside Books, an imprint of Harper Collins.

The book is authored by Dennis Prager, syndicated talk show host. In a nutshell, the book takes an in-depth look at the three dominant sociopolitical/religion movements that are contending for supremacy on the world stage today (as well as in the past to a lesser degree), and which holds out the best hope for a stable and viable world civilization.

These three movements, or cultural mindsets if you prefer, are the American values, Leftist or progressive values, and the Islamist value set and dominance agenda.

It should come as no surprise that Prager comes to the conclusion that it is the unique American set of values that will serve best in advancing a productive, amiable, and just course of action for the world.

Lest you think his conclusion is simply opinion or a case of jingoism, it is not. His case is laid out with numerous well-researched facts and historical precedents. Following the progression of the book, let’s have a look at Leftism first.

The Left as a Secular Religion

Most people, even many of those actually identifying with the left, would argue that the left is not a religion, but a social framework, an economic ideal, or a compassionate social school of thought.

Well, those things are all true. But it also performs all the functions of a religion while technically being a secular movement (Other than perhaps some overlap of “new age” adherents such as Wiccans and Druids, who worship nature while maintaining a Leftist outlook).

Leftists even have their vision of an end-reward state like any other religion. Just like Christians have heaven, Leftists strive for their Utopia on earth, as advocated by Karl Marx.

Goals of the Left

The left has its goals in Europe where as a movement it gradually replaced traditional God-centered religion. It picked up steam following World War I and established societal dominance following World War II.

Its core beliefs are economic “fairness”, regardless of how hard an individual works, cradle-to-grave social programs, liberal vacation schedules, diminished religious freedoms (other than Islam, at least at this juncture), and any necessary tradeoffs for egalitarianism at the expense of personal liberty.

Islam as a Theocracy defines theocracy as, “A form of government in which God or a deity is recognized as the supreme civil ruler, the God's or deity's laws being interpreted by the ecclesiastical authorities.”

Adherents of Islam, both moderate Muslims and the more fundamental Islamists, take their moral, scriptural, and legal inspiration from the Koran. As Dennis Prager says, “The concept of separation of church and state is alien to Islam, where the ideal has always been a Sharia-based government.”

The difference between Islam and Christianity, from a state-authority point of view, is that in Muslim-controlled areas, Sharia law is enforced on non-Muslims. Christians, on the other hand (particularly in the United States), do not force their dogma down other’s throats.

Muslims vs Islamists

Whereas moderate Muslims live, work, and peacefully assimilate in non-Muslim countries, the same can not be said of Islamists. Throughout history, they have spread Islamic conversions and dominance by the violence of the sword.

Detractors may well point to the Koran verse Sura 2:256 that states, “In matters of faith there shall be no compulsion”. However, to counter this one verse, there are approximately 100 that say differently.

For example, Sura 3:85—“If anyone desires a religion other than Islam, never will it be accepted of him”. Even more instructive is Sura 8:12—“I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them”.

Many factors make the Islamist model a poor choice for a better, more civilized world. These include enforced Sharia law, the unethical treatment of women as a class of citizens, and the lack of personal freedoms.

The American System of Values

Anyone with a passing familiarity with Dennis Prager knows his condensed model of the unique American value system; he calls it the American Trinity. If you have a US coin in your pocket, you will find it inscribed right there: Liberty, In God We Trust, and E Pluribus Unum (out of many, one for those not versed in Latin).

As a contrast, the Leftist French version, which most American progressives would identify with is: Liberty, Equality, Fraternity. The liberty part is comparable, but the French ideal of “equality” stands in stark contrast to the American “In God We Trust”.


  • The US was the first free country in world history.
  • It follows that it is the country that has enjoyed freedom the longest.
  • It has gone to bat for the most countries for the sake of freedom.
In God We Trust.
  • American values are accountable to God.
  • Unlike Islam, the God of the Forefathers referred to in the Declaration of Independence set out values, but did not mandate conversions.
E Pluribus Unum. The original meaning referenced the thirteen original colonies making “one”. However, as more and more immigrants arrived and assimilated from more and more nations, the term took on the broader meaning.

As a result, there is no one common heritage in America other than the cumulative American heritage. It doesn’t matter what your name is, what your accent is, or to a large extent, who your family members are. This is truly a strength for the advancement of society, both culturally and technologically.

What will the Future Hold?

While it is true that the competition between these three sets of values and world views is nothing new, modern technology has made changes happen at lightning speed, so perhaps things really are different.

Progressives continue to dominate the influential media such as Hollywood, CNN, MSNBC. Islamist global jihad has expanded its reach through GPS, cell phones, the Internet, and sleeper cells.

The forces adhering to the American value system are increasingly able to influence world events, intervene when rouge states go on the offensive against allies, and respond to natural disasters. Which direction will we go?

This book is a highly worthwhile and engaging read for all students of history, politics, and good, old-fashioned critical thinking. Get your hardback copy of Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph and here for the Kindle version.

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  • Dennis Prager. (2012). Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph. Broadside Books

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