Although political talk show host Hugh Hewitt may be a staunch conservative, in his latest book, "The Happiest Life," the radio personality says that Democrats and Republicans alike can embrace its key points in order to find happiness.
"[The book] is politically neutral. Absolutely," Hewitt told The Christian Post, pointing to the list of recommendations on the back of "The Happiest Life" as supporting his statement. "I value the endorsement of [political columnist] Jonathan Alter with whom I agree on probably nothing politically but who is a good friend."
"I run my show as I run my life which is Democrats are welcome. Liberals are welcome. Let's talk it through," he added.
Hewitt, 57, is originally from the Midwest, but has resided in Southern California for a couple of decades. He lives with his wife, whom he refers to endearingly as "The Fetching Mrs. Hewitt," and they have three grown children together.
"Before I was too old and forgot the best stories and best advice I could give them, I thought I would collect that into one place. That evolved into the intersection of a great deal of academic work and practical experience with happiness from my friends Arthur Brooks, [the President of the American Enterprise Institute,] and Dennis Praeger, [a Jewish conservative radio show host,]" said Hewitt.
Hewitt, who has authored roughly a dozen books, many of them political, focused his "memoir/self-help" work on recounting his own personal stories and the anecdotes of the dozens of folks he has interviewed on his show over the years. The book asks its readers to offer "seven gifts" to their communities: encouragement, energy, enthusiasm, good humor, graciousness, gratitude, (the one he says is most difficult to practice in America) and patience.
While the values may be equally possible to manifest in individuals regardless of political party affiliation, Hewitt says one's religiosity is necessary to live a fulfilled life.
"Many if not a majority of atheists would no doubt argue the point," he explained. "I think it is much harder to find happiness if you know you are just a group of particles headed into particle status again after three score and ten. Some natural selection theorists might argue that 'happiness' is simply a byproduct of gene pool dynamics working out survival strategies. But the angry atheist is that perhaps that way because of a deep seated envy of the genuine article, found in genuine communities of faith."
Hewitt said that faith's most significant selling point is the community it offers, going so far as to suggest that regardless of how strong one's convictions are, it is still worth plugging in at a religious institution.
"[Being happy] is very heavily dependent on faith…Now as to the brand of faith, that I'm agnostic on," said Hewitt. "…But one of my recommendations is that even if you can't make yourself believe in anything, pick a church and go because the community aspect of it—to live in community is what we're designed for."
"If they were raised Catholic, they can pick a Catholic church. If they weren't raise anything, they can pick a megachurch…If you're Jewish find a synagogue, if you're Buddhist find a temple," Hewitt added.
Beyond endeavoring to build a strong marriage and immediate family, Hewitt said that it is essential that individuals not forget to maintain close friendships.
"Going into marriage [they've got to]…encourage the other partner in finding, keeping, maintaining and finding time for their close friends who are not them," said Hewitt, who shared that he had recently returned from a two day trip with three friends, which that was "devoted to nothing but cigars, great wine, and great food."
Thus far, Hewitt's advice has resonated with his audience.
"We've received a number of comments from people who have already read it that said 'Wow I wish I had had this book 30 years ago,' which is always kind of a double edged compliment because that means 'You should have written then,' but I couldn't because I didn't know anything then but now I do," he said.