Jonah Goldberg’s second, and highly underrated, book is an examination of the common phrases many of us use when discussing politics. He shows why these cliches are often not truthful arguments. Don’t let the subtitle throw you. This is not some piece of right-wing rank punditry.
According to Jonah Goldberg, if the greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist, the greatest trick liberals ever pulled was convincing themselves that they’re not ideological.
Today, “objective” journalists, academics and “moderate” politicians peddle some of the most radical arguments by hiding them in homespun aphorisms. Barack Obama casts himself as a disciple of reason and sticks to one refrain above all others: he’s a pragmatist, opposed to the ideology and dogma of the right, solely concerned with “what works.” And today’s liberals follow his lead, spouting countless clichés such as:
- One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter: Sure, if the other man is an idiot. Was Martin Luther King Jr. a terrorist? Was Bin Laden a freedom fighter?
- Violence never solves anything: Really? It solved our problems with the British empire and ended slavery.
- Better ten guilty men go free than one innocent man suffer: So you won’t mind if those ten guilty men move next door to you?
- Diversity is strength: Cool. The NBA should have a quota for midgets and one-legged point guards!
- We need complete separation of church and state: In other words all expressions of faith should be barred from politics …except when they support liberal programs.
With humor and passion, Goldberg dismantles these and many other Trojan Horses that liberals use to cheat in the war of ideas. He shows that the grand Progressive tradition of denying an ideological agenda while pursuing it vigorously under the false-flag of reasonableness is alive and well. And he reveals how this dangerous game may lead us further down the path of self-destruction.