'President Me' Review: Adam Carolla's Executive Orders Yield Smaller Government, Rugged Individualism
Podcast king Adam Carolla drills down into life's problems in his work, a tactic not unlike most of his comedy peers.
Carolla offers a different spin on standard observational humor. The erstwhile carpenter provides solutions to life's woes--some comical, some downright practical. And they often entail shrinking the federal government and letting hard work power the nation.
President Me: The America That's in My Head finds Carolla in full problem solver mode. What sounds like an unabashed political tome is actually an extension of his popular podcast. The book has its share of political bombast all the same. He's pro-Voter ID, against a minimum wage hike and supports school competition.
Carolla starts by ranting about a cultural shift that led to unfortunate groups like Occupy Wall Street.
"We've gone from, 'Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country,' to, 'These rich people aren't paying their fare share," he writes.
He's sad that he's glibly labeled as a conservative, but he says it's simply a reflection on a societal shift.
"I didn't change. The country did ... I'm not right wing. I'm just right," he writes. "I know that freebies from the government keep people stuck in a cycle of poverty and depression."
The book breaks down into very politically worded chapters, but often Carolla uses the titles as a way to right societal wrongs. The "Department of Commerce" section lets him sound off on how government regulations hurt his fledgling Mangria business. Soon, he's riffing on the abundance of useless magazines in hotel rooms and complicated bathroom signs.
Other targets include rude TSA agents, horrible drivers and those Blue State dwellers so eager to apologize for the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Carolla supports gay marriage, which kicks off his Defense of Marriage Act chapter, but he's sick and tired of the national war against bullying. The very definition of the word "bullying" has changed, and now it's use is so commonplace it no longer has meaning.
"We're spending so much time and energy protecting kids from having hurt feelings we don't recognize we're hurting their futures," he writes.
Carolla traffics in R-rated material and is known for his bawdy work on The Man Show, but he sounds like a Focus on the Family devotee while promoting intact families.
"Until you get the family unit back together, we have no hope and we'll never dig ourselves out of this hole," he says. He also drops the funny business while praising charter schools. Competition is key, he writes, and he wraps the book with an extended, and valuable, lecture on the value of hard work.
Fans of Carolla's podcast will recognize recurring themes, and more than a few rants extrapolate on comedy morsels previously mined. That doesn't diminish the power behind the prose or the fact that Carolla remains a rare comic voice. He's not a traditional Republican and he continues to keep punditry at arm's length. Yet his common sense approach and willingness to offer answers, not just gags, puts him in elite comedy circles. The fact that he uses his life's lesson to help others further separates him from his peer group.
His fans will howl and nod their heads throughout President Me, but if they make it to the final pages they'll probably pick up a crucial life lesson. Maybe two.