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Jonah Goldberg and Stephen Hayes, November 21, 2021: “We’re not looking to occupy the permanent anti-Fox seats at CNN or MSNBC” January 28, 2022: Stephen Hayes Joins NBC News As Contributor And Political AnalystFebruary 7, 2022: Jonah Goldberg is joining CNN, the network confirmed on Monday. Preview Open
Never-Trump Dispatchinista Jonah Goldberg advises Glenn Youngkin that he better get out ahead of this I-95 Snow Emergency. If I was Glenn Youngkin I’d be flooding the zone to get this I-95 crap fixed. DC suburbs are vengeful about this kind of thing. — Jonah Goldberg (@JonahDispatch) January 4, 2022 Preview Open
Ever since Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign began to look like it was more than a promotional stunt for his reality show and began to take on the shape of a real run at the White House, there were voices on the Right condemning the whole idea of a Trump presidency. The Right’s most concerted effort took the form of National Review’s “Against Trump” issue, and most on the Right remain critical of the President’s failings even if they support him generally. (This is a marked difference from the last Democrat president, who received virtually no significant criticism from members of his party while in office.) But a sizable group of Republicans (excuse me, “former Republicans”) abandoned their party and became “Never Trumpers” – they were so exorcized by the idea of Donald Trump personally that they could no longer support their party. Some, like Max Boot and Jennifer Rubin, completely altered their beliefs and values because they hated Trump so much.
And from this sprang a whole new cottage industry of Republican-hating Conservatives. A niche craft that once belonged only to David Brooks and David Frum suddenly burst open with a whole field of carpetbaggers toting elephant guns: Charles Sykes, Mona Charen, Jonah Goldberg, George Will, Noah Rothman, Joe Scarborough, just to name a few. And with it has come two political websites to challenge the likes of NationalReview.com, CommentaryMagazine.com, and Ricochet.com: TheBulwark.com and TheDispatch.com.
I’d like to say that I’ve been dying for a Goldberg/Klavan (of the Andrew variety) long-form podcast for almost three years, all about Trump. I don’t want a “debate,” despite the intentionally incendiary (or at least flammable . . . or at the very least dyspeptic) title. I’d like to hear two sides of a divide discuss their differences because I firmly believe most conservatives aren’t Trump purists or Trump haters.
Perhaps I am an anomaly. Nonetheless, for almost four years now I’ve scratched my head trying to understand one side of the conservative movement that I have always respected (and still respect). I imagine the feeling is mutual.
As you may recall, early in the 2016 Presidential election candidate Donald Trump famously said that Jonah Goldberg, one of his conservative critics, couldn’t even buy a pair of pants. I kinda think that’s not so since every time I’ve seen Jonah on TV he is always wearing pants. In any event, I think […]
I am currently reading Jonah Goldberg’s “Suicide of the West” and Patrick Deneen’s “Why Liberalism Failed” for a doctoral class. Finding myself about halfway through the former I had the following review retweeted into my timeline this morning and it held exactly the critique of Goldberg’s thesis that was digging at me. I want to […]
Jonah, I enjoyed reading your column. As always, you have a style that makes the reader want to finish, no matter how much they disagree. It was well thought-out, though your logic was flawed. The biggest mistake you made was one of a closed mind.
Allow me to explain. You claim that sandwiches must meet extremely specific criteria. They are: two distinct slices of bread; proteins (meat), fats (cheese), or vegetables between the slices; eaten with parallel slices of bread on a plane perpendicular to the vector of acceleration due to gravity. This is a perfectly acceptable definition and has no doubt served you well in your life so far. But…
“[W]hat truly makes the French Revolution the first fascist revolution was its effort to turn politics into a religion. (In this the revolutionaries were inspired by Rousseau, whose concept of the general will divinized the people while rendering the person an afterthought.)”
— Jonah Goldberg, in his book Liberal Fascism
I just finished Jonah Goldberg’s Suicide of the West last night. Overall, I think it’s a very good book and one that people on both the Left and Right will benefit from reading. The book is not full of pop-culture references and humorous or snarky asides, which may disappoint regular readers of his G-File newsletter. It’s definitely a serious book, more in the style of his first title, Liberal Fascism, than his second, The Tyranny of Cliches. While I generally agree with the overall premise and conclusions, I do have a few quibbles about some of his writing decisions. Before I get into those, here’s a quick summary.
The basic premise is that we have reached a pinnacle when it comes to finding a way for humanity to prosper, and that if we aren’t careful we will throw it all away. He starts by observing that for most of human existence, life has been pretty miserable. We first appeared about 250,000 years ago, and for 99 percent of that time nothing changed. He points to about 300 years ago, when what he refers to as “the Miracle” happened, that life really started to improve drastically. The values of the Enlightenment combined with the economic benefits of capitalism combined in a place where they were allowed to develop (England) and then were given a true home here in America where they have flourished and changed the world. But the “Miracle” goes against human nature. We didn’t evolve in such a way to ensure the “Miracle” happened and if we let human nature take its course, we’ll lose what we have gained.
In fact, Goldberg makes a good case that we’ve already dropped below the pinnacle. The progressive movement of the early 20th century damaged the balanced structure that the Founders designed by letting an administrative state transform into a shadow government unchecked by the formal system defined in our Constitution. In that sense, I found the book to be kind of depressing. At this point, it would take a new revolution to free ourselves from the bureaucracy that we’ve allowed to take over so much of our formal government, and there’s no sign that people have the slightest interest in doing anything of the sort. Unfulfillable promises to “drain the swamp” aside, the administrative state is here to stay.
A couple of weeks ago, I had an in-class discussion with one of my students regarding the limits of language. I asked the student, point blank, if language merely described reality or if language could create reality. It’s a slippery subject, and the young man in question took considerable time before answering that he believed that language could only describe reality, not create it.
I pressed him further. “Suppose, young man, I said something about you that was truly hurtful, something that wounded you to your very core. Would those words not create a chemical state of being in your mind? Would these words not create a series of endorphins pulsing through your brain that we colloquially refer to as anger? Would I not, in some way, have created a reality in your mind?”
The latest episode of The Remnant features Jonah Goldberg answering questions from listeners, including one about Jonah’s views on veganism and animal rights. In the answer to that question, they talk about lab-grown meat. As an aside, they note that scientists are close to growing lab-grown human meat.
Say wha..? Now, I haven’t investigated this at all, but the science of it is utterly irrelevant to what I’m about to ask: How would you react to lab-grown human meat produced for human consumption?
Is it? I have no idea. But prior to the general election, I mentioned Oskar Schindler often. He was corrupt; a thief and a philanderer, yet without those skills, he could not have saved the lives that he did.
My husband is a great guy, but trust me. He’s not the guy you want trying to lie you through immigration.
In Jonah Goldberg’s latest G-File, he continues his dispute with Rich Lowry over comments made by Mr Lowry, Charles Cooke, Ian Tuttle, and Michael Dougherty in “The Editor’s” podcast (other installments of the discussion can be found here, here, here, and here). I won’t rehash all the back-and-forth, but the core question under discussion is […]