Conversations with Bill Kristol: Jonah Goldberg on Nationalism, Populism, and Identity Politics

 

Jonah Goldberg is a senior editor of National Review and Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute. Drawing on his new book Suicide of the West, Goldberg argues that strong tendencies in contemporary American culture—including tribalism, populism, nationalism, and identity politics—are increasingly undermining the moral and political foundations of America. In discussing these phenomena, Kristol and Goldberg also consider why it is important for young people to study the American political tradition and appreciate what is best in Western civilization.

Chapter 1 (00:15 – 38:16): Nationalism and Identity Politics
Chapter 2 (38:16 – 1:19:53): Defending Western Civ

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  1. Franco Member
    Franco
    @Franco

    Really? And what are these guys going to do about it, talk us to death on a cruise to nowhere?

    • #1
  2. Freesmith Inactive
    Freesmith
    @Freesmith

    The lack of self-awareness of these two is comical.

    “I don’t know about you – we both grew up in NYC – I’ve never in my life ever said, ‘Well, as a white person I think…’ I never identified my identity as white,” says Goldberg to Kristol.

    I’m sure he didn’t identify as white, John Podhoretz either, as they sheltered in place in their apartment homes from the blacks and Hispanics who most definitely did see them that way and who prowled the streets and buses below, waiting to mug them again for their lunch money.

    No, not white, but I bet there is one three-letter word that Jonah and Bill and John did use, often too, to self-identify in those days on Manhattan’s West 80s.

    Funny that in a discussion about identity politics and tribalism it didn’t come to mind.

    No funnier, however, than that in a discussion of who “caused” Trump, neither Goldberg nor Kristol ever mentions our neocon misadventure in Iraq or our 16-years-and-counting fiasco of a stabilization campaign in Afghanistan, the longest war in US history and one that Kristol resolutely championed.

    To these risibly unself-aware deep thinkers about politics and principles, thousands dead and hundreds of billions wasted are just data entries, not reasons to reject a failed – and blind – elite and its policies.

    It’s far better to talk about Bannon, Hannity and de Tocqueville. Far better.

    • #2
  3. OmegaPaladin Moderator
    OmegaPaladin
    @OmegaPaladin

    It’s funny.  Two years ago I would have been clamoring to listen to this podcast.  My respect for Kristol and Goldberg was sky-high, and Jonah is always funny.  I remember a previous Kristol / Goldberg podcast that was utterly fascinating.

    Now, I typically avoid Jonah Goldberg (his take on Trump has gotten tiresome), and I utterly despise Bill Kristol.  Kristol is so blinded by Trump-hatred that he would be willing to support liberal democrats or even throw out democracy entirely:   “prefer the Deep State to the Trump State”   I thought us neocons were supposed to favor promoting democracy?   If Iran kicked out the Mullahs and elected a populist guy like Trump, would Kristol miss the Ayatollah?

    • #3
  4. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    OmegaPaladin (View Comment):
    If Iran kicked out the Mullahs and elected a populist guy like Trump, would Kristol miss the Ayatollah?

    Great question. Based on comments Kristol has made over the last year concerning Trump, I would answer in the affirmative. Tell me that isn’t sick.

    • #4
  5. Freesmith Inactive
    Freesmith
    @Freesmith

    cdor (View Comment):

    OmegaPaladin (View Comment):
    If Iran kicked out the Mullahs and elected a populist guy like Trump, would Kristol miss the Ayatollah?

    Great question. Based on comments Kristol has made over the last year concerning Trump, I would answer in the affirmative. Tell me that isn’t sick.

    What would your “Iranian Trump’s” position on Israel be?

    • #5
  6. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    Freesmith (View Comment):

    cdor (View Comment):

    OmegaPaladin (View Comment):
    If Iran kicked out the Mullahs and elected a populist guy like Trump, would Kristol miss the Ayatollah?

    Great question. Based on comments Kristol has made over the last year concerning Trump, I would answer in the affirmative. Tell me that isn’t sick.

    What would your “Iranian Trump’s” position on Israel be?

    Obama left us with a very difficult position. I would guess that’s what he intended. Trump’s options are very limited as far as I can tell. But I have no basis for giving you some sort of solution, if that is what you are asking, Freesmith. What I wouldn’t do is anything that I knew would strengthen the Ayatollahs. I don’t shake hands with someone who openly wishes my demise.

    • #6
  7. OmegaPaladin Moderator
    OmegaPaladin
    @OmegaPaladin

    Freesmith (View Comment):

    cdor (View Comment):

    OmegaPaladin (View Comment):
    If Iran kicked out the Mullahs and elected a populist guy like Trump, would Kristol miss the Ayatollah?

    Great question. Based on comments Kristol has made over the last year concerning Trump, I would answer in the affirmative. Tell me that isn’t sick.

    What would your “Iranian Trump’s” position on Israel be?

    Well, I’d imagine Iranian Trump would be focused on Iran and Persian issues.   Probably tell Israel to leave them alone, and they will leave Israel alone.   Get rid of the IRGC and their foreign operations like Hezbollah and use the money on stuff at home.  From what I have read, Iranian people really don’t like supporting foreign states

    • #7

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