Tag: Liberalism

Patrick Deneen’s Delusions

 

In the Wall Street Journal’s most recent “Weekend Interview” feature, columnist William McGurn spoke to Professor Patrick Deneen, a political theorist at Notre Dame, about his influential 2018 book Why Liberalism Has Failed. McGurn, himself a Notre Dame graduate, takes Deneen to task for selling the Founders “short” by supposedly exposing their weak moral and social foundations in his book. “Liberalism has failed,” Deneen provocatively claims, “not because it fell short, but because it was true to itself. It has failed because it has succeeded.”

In Deneen’s view basic liberalism necessarily goes astray because it treats the atomistic individual, shorn from his or her social and religious context, solely as a rights-bearing entity. Deneen thus attacks the Framers worldview with its strong protections of individual rights, free and fair elections, and an independent judiciary. Writing even before Trump was elected, Deneen argues that it is “evident to all that the political system is broken and social fabric is fraying, particularly as a growing gap between wealthy haves and left-behind have-nots increases, a hostile divide widens between faithful and secular peoples, and deep disagreement persists over America’s role in the world.”

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An Open Letter to Mitt Romney

 

Dear Mr. Romney:

I read your opinion piece in The Washington Post under the interesting heading: “Democracy Dies in Darkness”. You called it: “The president shapes the public character of the nation. Trump’s character falls short.”

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Dennis Prager on the Self-Righteously Suicidal West and False Morality

 

For this week’s Big Ideas with Ben Weingarten podcast, I had nationally syndicated radio host, columnist, author of numerous books, teacher, film producer and co-founder of PragerU, Dennis Prager, on the podcast to discuss among other things:

  • How Dennis Prager ended up a conservative as an Ivy League-educated Jewish intellectual from Brooklyn, New York — contrary to so many of his peers
  • How perceptions of human nature divide Left and Right
  • Whether government has filled the void of religion for the increasingly secular and progressive American coasts
  • How the good intentions that underlie Leftist policy prescriptions lead to horrendous outcomes — and emotion versus reason on the Left and Right
  • The false morality underlying European immigration policy with respect to the Muslim world, and Prager’s criticism of Jewish support of mass immigration consisting disproportionately of Jew-haters
  • The self-righteous suicidalism of the West
  • The Leftist bias of social media platforms and PragerU’s legal battle with YouTube/Google

You can find the episode on iTunes, everywhere else podcasts are found, download the episode directly here or read the transcript here.

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Member Post

 

No, it’s not Christmas as you might think. No, the day they hate the most is the Fourth of July. The Fourth of July is when American flags are unfurled all over the country and fly high. There are parades—real pride parades, picnics, barbeques, and fireworks. It’s a day when the people who make the […]

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Member Post

 

At National Review Online, I write about Penn State University barring its Outing Club from doing what the club was created to do and has been doing for 98 years — off campus outings. The disallowed activities are less dangerous than many on-campus activities that students undertake daily. What gives? An excerpt: More

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Member Post

 

“On the right, I think we’ve identified markers for people who have gone too far in their ideological presuppositions, and it looks to me like the marker we’ve identified is racial superiority. We know that things can go too far on the Right, and we know that things can go too far on the Left, […]

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Member Post

 

After reading @simontemplar‘s post, my hackles are up. I tried not to rend my clothes or pull my hair, but stay rational after reading in his post that George Washington University (note the name) is hosting a forum to combat “Christian Privilege.” I almost bit a hole in my lip. https://ricochet.com/508074/the-assault-on-western-civ-continues-unabated/ More

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Member Post

 

This week on Banter, Dr. Yascha Mounk joined the show to discuss his new book, “The People vs. Democracy: Why Our Freedom Is in Danger and How to Save It.” In his book, Mounk explains the rise of populism and its threats to liberal democracy, but also provides some practical solutions to turning that tide. […]

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Member Post

 

I looked up the definition of mental illness on the Mayo Clinic’s web site (https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/mental-illness/symptoms-causes/syc-20374968). Although there’s not a single, concise definition, the list of signs and symptoms caught my eye: Examples of signs and symptoms [of mental illness] include: More

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Member Post

 

This will be a relatively short piece, which I hope will stir some real thought. I thought of it this morning, when I heard the following story on my local, all-news radio station: It was announced that The Weather Channel co-founder, John Coleman, had died. He was 83. They then went to their own weather-man, […]

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All The Feels

 

There’s an interesting quote embedded in this interview with the leader of Canada’s Conservative party.

“I believe the problem with Liberals is that they don’t care about the results of their policies, they just care about the intentions that they show. They wrap themselves up in emotion and sending a signal about what they care about. The effects of their policies are usually terrible but they try to gloss over that.

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ACF Middlebrow#1

 

James Lileks and I bring you a Thanksgiving surprise, the browsing rant and ranting browsing through middlebrow & midcentury America. We’ve got lots to offer:

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Member Post

 

Last week, I published a list of liberal clichés and their real meanings. The style was, of course, based on The Devil’s Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce, while many of the entries were plagiarized from inspired by Jonah Goldberg’s The Tyranny of Clichés. I asked for ideas on further entries in the comments, and this addendum […]

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Loose Bull!

 

I hadn’t remembered that story in decades, but it resurfaced in a bizarre daydream yesterday. A recent Ricochet Question of the Day was why is Trump’s popularity rising? My mind was already reeling from days, weeks, months, even years of insane headlines, some on Ricochet. The story about the MIT entrance application asking to check one of 50-plus genders and list the perspective student’s sexual preferences, to a self-described anarcho-communist college professor spewing hate toward cops. Spinning in my mind were comments from Barbara Streisand and Cher to stop using my hairdryer and use only one piece of toilet paper … to save the environment. I might as well go in the yard and use a leaf.

Riots and protests from Boston to Berkeley, men now too manly, and sensitivity training commencing on campuses and throughout the military. Calling someone something other than their preferred surname can result in your job dismissal. So if your student, patient, or employee wants to be called Lobster Lewinsky, get it right or face consequences. Black-only proms and workdays – white privilege stay home. My head hurts from the nonsense. Van Jones crying on CNN because Trump only denounced White Supremacists three times instead of six, to Hollywood teeth gnashing and temper tantrums worthy of a diaper change, rappers rendered clothing – oh wait – that’s a fashion statement. I can’t stand it. Then yesterday it all became clear.

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Member Post

 

With a bunch of thanks to Mr. Brad Tupi from Pittsburgh, who said this in a letter to the editor of the Wall Street Journal on August 19-20. The cause of the Left’s disease isn’t that it took identity politics too far-that is just one symptom. The root cause is that the left has abandoned […]

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The Message Is the Tedium

 

My family and I went to see the new Wonder Woman movie over the weekend and enjoyed it, along with people all over the world. Yes, there is a feminist message inside the movie, which is to be expected when based on a comic book character designed from the very start to be a feminist icon. However, the message was pleasingly low-key and was balanced by the heroism of her male counterparts.

I must confess, after the insanity of creating a “safe space” for women to watch this movie without any men in the audience, I walked into the movie theater with some trepidation, expecting it to be Ms. Magazine with flashy CGI and a soundtrack. This did not happen, partly because director Patty Jenkins realized that a hero (or heroine, in this case) appears more heroic if what they do goes far beyond what even extraordinary humans can do. Fortunately, Steve Trevor (portrayed by Chris Pine) provides a male counterpart whose exploits could be compared (literally) to that of the gods. The female empowerment angle is still there, but it doesn’t get in the way of Wonder Woman being a darn good movie.

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Member Post

 

Welcome to the Harvard Lunch Club Political Podcast for May 9, 2017, it’s the Profiles in Leftism edition of the show brought to you by ZipRecruiter and SimpliSafe. This week the GOP is celebrating the passage, through one house of Congress, a repeal, only not really a repeal of the People’s Healthcare bill, AKA: ACA, […]

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Left, Right, and Politics

 

Talking American sends me thinking now and again. All the questions about the left and the right came up again the other day, questions that come up more often than I think they should, and which I fear can never be articulated in a way that contains partisan passions. That’s how it is: The terms of political art are almost unique in how contentious and disputable they really are. But this sent me thinking, as I said, so I have some questions and remarks below, and a sketch for a crash course on the politics of left and right — I hope you’ll be interested in this enough to make it possible to have more conversations and, possibly, more clarity.

  1. Is it worth learning what left and right mean in politics? Where they come from? How we ended up talking this way?
  2. Do people who talk this way think of it as more than a mere expedient?
  3. Do people who insist on talking this way have any good faith that’s not limited to partisanship?
  4. Do people who want to go beyond left and right really get what’s in people’s hearts as per the previous two points?

I might write something serious and respectable about this, but is it worth the time? I do have some provisional remarks, meanwhile, about what seems to me to be at stake:

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Member Post

 

Thesis: For 55 years conservatives would eventually win every argument on economics, trade, and immigration by chaining liberals to the whippin’ post of data analytics. America is now on the brink of ruin, conservatism on the brink of irrelevancy, and the two political parties are stranded on terra incognita. If conservatives don’t stop winning arguments […]

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