In the introduction, Starnes states his premise in no uncertain terms:
What does it mean to be a bitter American?
The network television reporters like to tell us we are a divided people — that most Americans don’t buy into God and country. But that’s not what I discovered along my journey. I found a nation with a lot more in common than the network news agencies would admit.
Throughout his journey through the heartland, Starnes comes across plenty of examples of Leftists’ egregious undermining of American values. In the book he chronicles:
- The wars against Christmas, the Boy Scouts, and traditional ideas of manhood.
- The elevation of President Obama to virtual sainthood (and even deity).
- The specter of socialized medicine in the United States.
- Schools teaching graphic, “anything goes” sex education while severely limiting students’ food choices.
- The Chicken Little cries of Islamophobia and global warming.
But Starnes also sees rays of hope in people who prove that America’s greatness lies not with her government or her elites, but with her citizens. He tells the stories of:
- Eagle Scouts who are enacting positive changes in their communities.
- Law firms and foundations working to ensure freedom for faithful Americans.
- Miraculous physical and spiritual healing.
- Ordinary Americans standing up for their beliefs in extraordinary ways.
He also interviews conservative heroes like Sean Hannity and Michelle Malkin. Malkin relays the sentiments of so many so-called “bitter Americans” when she says:
In fact, I start every day blessed, with a smile on my face, counting myself among the luckiest people on the planet, to be able to live in this country, exercise freedom of speech and freedom of assembly, and to be able to petition — still — for redress of grievances.
Most of the conservatives I cover are happy warriors, in the mold of Ronald Reagan. Are we upset? Are we worried? Are we concerned about our kids’ future? Yes.
But ultimately, there are things outside the Beltway, outside the political square, that buoy us. And those include the things a lot of these left-wing reporters do not appreciate or understand — community, school life, and church.