Online Book Pegs Citizens as America’s Fundamental Political Problem

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Character Not Included: What America must fix before she can fix anything else. By Jack Pelham

Each generation of Americans has handed off the country to its children a little worse than when it received it.

In his recently-released online book, Character Not Included: What America must fix before she can fix anything else (, author Jack Pelham makes a daring claim: the low aggregate character of the American people is America’s fundamental political problem, and not “Washington”, as so many habitually complain. “The country was founded upon some very high ideals,” says Pelham, “but ever since then, the people have simply failed to be good overseers of their own government. As a result, each generation has handed off the country to its children, a little worse than when it received it.”

The book cites nearly 200 quotations from early Americans, showing that the proper ideals were definitely in the public view at our founding, but that they simply haven’t been upheld by the public since. “This grand ‘experiment’ in government has proven that the people can’t expect to keep government on its leash by any casual level of effort; if we want a government that will make the original vision for our country a reality, we ourselves must provide relentless pressure while holding unswervingly to sound and informed principle. And if we think that our current ruling class is going to turn itself in without serious pressure from us, we’re nuts!”

The book examines over thirty facets of high character that were lauded as crucial to our country’s success in the beginning, but that are rare to find today. Pelham agrees with cognitive scientists who observe that humans simply tend to be “cognitive misers” who do the lowest level of thinking that they think they can get away with. “It’s easy to hop off that cognitive train too soon, assuming that this political party or that candidate is going to be the solution,” he says, “but as attractive as these solutions may seem, anybody who’s doing any thinking at all can directly observe that such solutions simply aren’t working to restore the country to its original ideals. No, somebody’s going to have to take us by the lapels and talk some sense into us to get us thinking as deeply as our problems warrant.”

The first installment of Character Not Included was launched as a free online book in April 2012. Pelham hopes to complete the remainder of the book’s sections by the end of 2013 and to take it to press at that time.

About Jack Pelham
Jack Pelham is a politically independent blogger and a self-taught analyst who began investigating nearly ten years ago as to why America never seems to get better no matter who is in political power at any given time. He began as an activist by simply prompting people to get more involved, but soon discovered that the normal channels of political involvement are actually counterproductive. From there, Pelham developed the Rule of Law Restoration project, which provided a path for restoring governments to lawful practice, but which also revealed that the American public simply isn’t interested in the Rule of Law at this time. Character Not Included, therefore, is the next step in Pelham’s quest to leave the country better than he found it. “Having hacked enough at the branches, I think I’ve finally discovered the root,” he says.

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