The Center For Public Conscience and Matters of Conscience Newsletter

Eminent Disdain: The Triumph of Cynicism over Integrity in 21st Century America

A book by Bromwell Ault

Eminent Disdain: The Triumph of Cynicism over Integrity in 21st Century America
by Bromwell Ault
308 pages; Publisher: AuthorHouse (September 30, 2009)
ISBN-10: 1449020011
ISBN-13: 978-1449020019
Purchase on (paperback: $21.95, hardcover: $29.20).
Purchase on (paperback: $24.95, hardcover: $34.95).

"Good government should product an atmosphere of national responsibility and opportunity created for the people by the combined efforts of their elected representatives. Divisions will always exist as to government's direction, and decisions must be resolved by the objective application of both personal and political integrity. The structure of government should be firm and open and should not be burdened by becoming a proving ground for either individual or party ideology. Politics is one thing. Good government is quite another!"
Listen to this audio interview with Bromwell Ault.

Today America is faced with international superpower responsibilities and broad domestic failures of vision that result from its political polarization and pursuit of the Ideological Imperative. Our political system is further burdened by extensive corruption and other ethical failures at our government's personal and institutional levels.

As major political parties are unable to define the national interest, it is rarely served, and often sacrificed to more "special" concerns. Many of our traditions and values have been put aside, and we lack the national identity and unity that we have been able to call upon at many times in the past.

Eminent Disdain explores these acute crises of identity and integrity in both historical and contemporary terms with the hope that they will be addressed by the American People.

This book is aimed at that growing audience that is vaguely, but genuinely, concerned with our quality of government and its effect upon our national character and destiny; who want more than endless Republican/Democrat bickering; and who believe that our founding ideals and values should always play an active part of government.

This book comments on serious social, economic, political, historical, environmental and other issues which have tested our elected governments from both parties. It points out areas of Constitutional conflict, political inertia, selective law enforcement and others that pose a real peril to our republic.

Whether in our foreign, economic, immigration, health care, agricultural or other policy choices, it finds a common thread which ties our elected representatives to the service of interests that are special rather than national.

At the root of these failed policy and legislative efforts is an equally damaging failure of our electoral system whereby money is dominant and delivers a Congress that enjoys an incumbency reelection rate of over 90%.

Not all of our problems are internal, however. The role assigned to America as sole superpower following the collapse of the USSR has been one which called for our assumption, but for which we were psychologically and historically less than suited. The point is not whether others could do better, but rather that it has had a negative impact upon our national character and actions.

This book makes clear that unless we are willing to make a real effort to return to the principles and ideals of our founding and literally "pull ourselves together", our enviable experiment in representative democracy will no longer be able to meet the needs of its citizens and will fail due to our lack of will, not its merit.

The contents of this book first appeared in a quarterly subscription letter of commentary entitled Matters of Conscience published by the Center for Public Conscience, of which Mr. Ault is the founder and sole editor. Matters of Conscience was designed to draw attention to the increasingly numerous failures of our government and their extension to the various departments and agencies which now comprise our enlarging bureaucracy.

The book cites issues and examples of multiple failures by our institutions to protect those for whose protection they were created, and it suggests that we can return to ways of good government only if we, the public, are willing to undertake an active, informed, remedial role.

About the author

Bromwell Ault is a retired business man with a marketing background who has worked in the energy (wind, solar, petroleum, mixed alcohols), financial services and venture capital sectors. He was a co-founder of the Venture Capital Corp. of America and continues to serve as a special limited partner.

He is a political independent, having been equally disappointed by both major political parties, and is deeply concerned by the deterioration of our government, the widespread corruption throughout our society and the consequent failure of many of our most basic institutions to protect those for whose protection they were created.

Mr. Ault's concern for the state of our nation, its people and its politics became so strong that in 2003 he founded the Center for Public Conscience and began writing a quarterly subscription letter entitled Matters of Conscience that commented on our failure to address serious ethical, economic, social, political, cultural and environmental issues.

Mr. Ault was born in 1927 in Cincinnati, OH and moved to NYC in 1930 where he grew up during the depression years. His education includes The Buckley School in NYC, Phillips Academy, Andover, MA and Yale University from which he received a BA degree in 1949.

In 1957, while the author was working in the advertising agency business in NYC, he wrote a book entitled A Retail Food Study (LaRoche & Co., NYC, 1957) which described the then revolution in food retailing whereby supermarkets were replacing small stores, both independent and chain, and becoming the dominant type of outlet. This book was privately printed and distributed in an edition of about 100 copies.

Mr. Ault has lived in Florida for the past 14 years but hopes to return to New England when the real estate market permits. His quality of life is greatly enhanced by the company of his dog, "Blue", a mixed breed of presumed shepherd/husky parentage.