The Tyranny of Clichés
How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas
By Jonah Goldberg
(Sentinel HC, Hardcover, 9781595230867, 320pp.)
Publication Date: May 1, 2012
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The bestselling author of Liberal Fascism dismantles the progressive myths that are passed-off as wisdom in our schools, media and politics.
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.
Jonah Goldberg’s first book, Liberal Fascism, was a number one New York Times bestseller. He is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and the founding editor of National Review Online. He is also a Los Angeles Times columnist, a Fox News contributor, and a member of the board of contributors at USA Today. The Atlantic named him one of America’s fifty most influential commentators. He lives with his family in Washington, DC.
Jonah Goldberg, conservative columnist and editor of National Review Online, argues in his new book that liberals use catchphrases to avoid engaging in actual arguments over ideas. More at NPR.org
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"Jonah Goldberg is the voice of the post-Reagan conservative generation."
--JOHN PODHORETZ, editor, Commentary magazine
"Goldberg draws on both the Great Books and popular culture to rip apart the commandments of the modern therapeutic society. Behind all the feel-good, come-together mush, Goldberg finds the age-old driving forces-power, profit, and plain old ignorance. The dissection of these feel-good assumptions is informal and light, but the conclusions are deadly serious-and chilling."
--VICTOR DAVIS HANSON, senior fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University
"What can one say to the self-proclaimed 'independent' who never has nor ever will vote other than Democratic; or to the wise soul suggesting, of any conflict at all, "the truth must lie somewhere in between"? Mr. Goldberg reminds us that one must stand up and demand of the muddled and supine either an absolute declaration of their principles and acknowledgment of the results of actions having flowed therefrom or a straightforward admission of their intransigence in refusing a concise reply."
--DAVID MAMET, bestselling author of The Secret Knowledge
"Whether you love or hate what he has to say, you've got to love the way Jonah Goldberg says it."
--MARCO RUBIO, U.S. Senator, Florida
"The puncturing of pretensions and disruption of lazy thinking are extra base hits in journalism. Doing so with humor and originality on every page qualifies Goldberg's work as a grand slam."
--MITCH DANIELS, Governor of Indiana; author of Keeping the Republic
"Straw man down! In the PC prison yard of accepted political thought, Jonah Goldberg has just shivved progressivism. Bold, brilliant, and bursting with humor, every page of The Tyranny of Clichés is right on the money. If you thought Liberal Fascism was good, wait till you read The Tyranny of Clichés --it is fantastic!"
--BRAD THOR, bestselling author of Full Black
"Everyone says 'think for yourself' but very few people do. In The Tyranny of Clichés, Jonah Goldberg reveals how we've become trapped by ideas we think we understand but don't. A must read."
--VINCE VAUGHN, actor and producer