perini & associates

The Book: The 2012 Political Contest in America - Conversations with a Gadfly

This book sounds an alarm about the progressive movement in America—with cover art inspired by an essay published in 1862 by John Stuart Mill.


Colorado Springs, CO -- (ReleaseWire) -- 01/08/2014 --Dr. Ronald J. Scott, Jr., a retired U.S. Air Force colonel, is helping to sound the alarm about the progressive movement with his first of a series of books that analyze and reflect upon current affairs in America.

“While any American is for progress-the progressive movement has little to do with progress.” Dr. Ronald J. Scott said. All of the themes in Scott’s book are related to the progressive ideology. “They range from economic indicators, motivations for certain perspectives on social and political issues, and attempts to engineer public sentiment,” Scott said.

The goal of the book is to build a foundation for a capstone book on the art of peace. Research for this book began in 2008. Much of the statistical analysis is original work presented at national conferences. One paper, entitled “Political and Economic Indicators of an Emergent Nation: The United States as a Case Study,” attracted a large, standing room only audience at a national conference in Las Vegas. “One of my slides that depicted the effect of marginal tax rates on unemployment rates and tax revenue generated apparently offended two attendees because they walked out of the presentation,” Scott said. “This was a visible testament to the power of a mental frame over facts. When facts are contrary to the frame, the facts, and even the person advancing them, are rejected.”

Scott remains amazed at the emotional reactions to his manuscript. “The conversations in the book really do spark reaction-to include fear,” he said. “Some of my friends have expressed that they are not able to publicly support arguments being advanced in the book because of fears of reprisal from peers,” he said. “This is not the America I and my family committed 30 years of our life to defending over 18 different moves throughout the world.”

He believes that many of his fellow servicemen and women feel the same way. “Yet, when assessing what percentage of our American population has sworn to ‘support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic,’ that number is an amazing 7%. “How many of the remaining 93% truly understand what is at stake in terms of the American idea and how vulnerable it is from the insidious effect of progressivism? The outcome of the 2012 political contest speaks volumes,” he said.

The idea for the title of the book is based on an essay published in 1862 by John Stuart Mill. The title was “The Contest in America.” Three months after Mill’s essay, the British Punch Magazine published a cartoon with the caption, “The Sensational Contest in America.”

There is a contest in America and it is sensational. Mill’s essay and the cartoon [the book’s cover art] captured an earlier era in America that was “sensational,” at a cost of over 600,000 casualties. “While today’s political contest is not “physical,” it could be far more catastrophic for the American idea of a ‘consecrated’ nation dedicated to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” Scott said.

Scott describes the inspiration behind the book. “Two experiences inspired me to write the book. The first occurred during a trip to the DC area for a project dealing with counterterrorism. My role involved analysis of the al Qaeda ideology. As I walked through the Reagan airport for a flight home, I saw a book prominently displayed in the airport bookstore. The book was Whose Freedom? by Professor George Lakoff. This was my introduction to the progressive movement in America. I read the book and everything else Lakoff has written.”

“In the second experience, a good friend declared during a friendly conversation that he was a progressive—that is, for progress--better education, better quality of life, and so forth. He admitted that he did not know what progressive meant from a political perspective. Given my research on ideology, I became concerned about how pervasive the movement is in America and felt compelled to raise an alarm.”

Scott explains how he came up with Old Gadfly. “I have always been a student of the Socratic Method. I use this method in my teaching. Socrates was known to be a gadfly, challenging untested notions and assumptions. In his case, opposition culminated in a hemlock cocktail.”

“From personal experience, I have seen many conversations end with, “let’s agree to disagree.” I am disappointed that too many people do not have the courage and the open-mindedness to complete a conversation with the honesty of facts and evidence as opposed to settled beliefs. So, I decided to address progressive beliefs using fact- and evidence-based conversations between an American citizen with an inquiring mind, known as IM, and Old Gadfly.

Readers have expressed great enthusiasm for the book. "A different style, but well documented with a powerful message. Dr. Scott's book is written with original analysis and presented in an interesting Socratic format to make the reader think. While portions may be blunt, provocative, and even disturbing, the impact is profound for those who take the time to absorb it and badly needed in conversations on what matters in America."- Donn Kegel (USAF colonel ret.)

The book is available at and has a 5-star rating. Below are several customer reviews (Source:*):

-Must read for those who seek thoughtful, fact-based discussion of modern politics

“Dr Scott has created an excellent "think piece" that will no doubt cause discerning minds to reexamine inaccurate (and oft deceptive) emotional arguments in the political arena. His use of a unique conversational format where Gadfly and a concerned citizen with an Inquiring Mind engage in well-constructed dialogue to illuminate documented truths often eclipsed by "political speak" intended to sway voters using emotion rather than truth. Whether conservative- or liberal-minded you owe it to yourself to read this work and reflect on the strategic consequences of a population of voters who cast their ballots without fully informing their decision with hard facts/evidence. Watching for future writings from this new author.” - By Herkpilot

-Conversations with a Gadfly - A Must Read

“I read this book and thought it was superb. It would have been very easy for the author to try and cover more than he did, for example jumping into foreign policy, but he held back. Very smart move. The references and support were extensive and another positive was the length of the book - just right. It was intended to stimulate critical thinking and foster conversations with those who have different political views -- again here it excelled from my perspective. The writer’s style made it very hard to put down once started - hence I read it all in one sitting (on a long flight). My hope is he will continue writing more books along these same lines and also cover US Foreign Policy.” - By Alan Thompson

About Dr. Ron Scott and book reflections
Ronald J. Scott, Jr., Ph.D., is founder and principal consultant at Vectored Solutions, LLC. He served over 30 years in the U.S. Air Force as a command and instructor pilot in fighter and airlift aircraft, commanding units on global assignments and directing the Air Force’s global operations center at the Pentagon.

He more recently consulted for a Washington-area applied research firm providing strategic analysis related to counterterrorism.

He currently serves as an adjunct professor, teaching ethics and research methodology, and mentoring doctoral candidates through the dissertation process. His theoretical and analytical work has been published in academic peer-reviewed journals.

Who is your favorite author and is your writing style similar to his/her?

“F. A. Hayek is my favorite author. Hayek went to great lengths to understand the meaning of political and economic concepts within evolving historical and cultural contexts. I strive to do the same in my own analysis and writing.”

Have you written any other books?

“This is my first commercial book. My second book, soon to be released, is The Progressive Phoenix: Musings with a Gadfly. A third party is added to these conversations. I have two additional book projects soon to follow."

What's your favorite part of your book?

“The chapter based on a quote by Descartes—“Cogito Ergo Sum (I Think Therefore I Am).” This chapter sets the tone for the rest of the book and the argued reasons our nation may be in trouble—that too many Americans lack the capacity to critically think for themselves. This is why political correctness is such a powerful force for keeping people compliant with values determined by superior elite for the benefit of everyone else. If one is compliant, he or she gets rewarded; if not, punished.”

What is your favorite quote in the book?

“Frankly, today’s hubristic scholarship is devolving to mere flotsam, drifting on the surface of an immense ocean of potential knowledge” (p. 7). According to Scott, “The reason for this assertion is that too many academics claim that we do not discover truth, we create it. This mindset is a recipe for fantasy, illusion, and delusion.”


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Twitter: @Gadfly_Corner


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