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Coming: Lilla-Livered Liberalism?

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coming-lilla-livered-liberalism.php

Steven Hayward

August 11 2017

 

When I see things like the meltdown at Google or any of the various campus disgraces that can be mentioned, I like to ask: “When are liberals going to defend liberalism?” One liberal who is standing up for liberalism is Mark Lilla of Columbia University. As noted here back in November, Lilla wrote an op-ed for the New York Times criticizing the Democratic Party’s reliance on identity politics. For this, one of his feminist colleagues at Columbia called him a “white supremacist.”

Next week Lilla’s short new book that expands his original critique will be published, The Once and Future Liberal. Unfortunately I don’t have an advance copy, and will wait for it to come in the mail in a few days like everyone else. But Rod Dreher at The American Conservative has read an advance copy, and he passes along this wonderful passage from the book:

Electoral politics is a little like fishing. When you fish you get up early in the morning and go to where the fish are — not to where you might wish them to be. You then drop bait into the water (bait being defined as something they want to eat, not as “healthy choices”). Once the fish realize they are hooked they may resist. Let them; loosen your line. Eventually they will calm down and you can slowly reel them in, careful not to provoke them unnecessarily. The identity liberals’ approach to fishing is to remain on shore, yelling at the fish about the historical wrongs visited on them by the sea, and the need for aquatic life to renounce its privilege. All in the hope that the fish will collectively confess their sins and swim to shore to be netted. If that is your approach to fishing, you had better become a vegan.

 

 

(Snip)

 

 

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That is indeed a wonderful passage.

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The Liberal Crackup

Steven Hayward

August 12 2017

The Wall Street Journal ran an excerpt from Mark Lilla’s new book, The Once and Future Liberal, coming out on Tuesday that we mentioned here yesterday. Here’s a link to the whole piece if you are a WSJ subscriber, but if not here are two of the better paragraphs in it:

"As a teacher, I am increasingly struck by a difference between my conservative and progressive students. Contrary to the stereotype, the conservatives are far more likely to connect their engagements to a set of political ideas and principles. Young people on the left are much more inclined to say that they are engaged in politics as an X, concerned about other Xs and those issues touching on X-ness. And they are less and less comfortable with debate.

Over the past decade a new, and very revealing, locution has drifted from our universities into the media mainstream: Speaking as an X…This is not an anodyne phrase. It sets up a wall against any questions that come from a non-X perspective. Classroom conversations that once might have begun, I think A, and here is my argument, now take the form, Speaking as an X, I am offended that you claim B. What replaces argument, then, are taboos against unfamiliar ideas and contrary opinions."

This phenomena, I submit, is why conservatives have the advantage out in the real world, and why conservatives are more likely to win political battles in the long run, despite the left’s near monopolistic control of academic, the media, popular entertainment, and corporate human resources departments.

 

(Snip)

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In all these excerpts I think he pretty well nails it.

Sometimes reading all the articles here and on FB you would think that only a handful of white nationalist bigoted hypocritical Christians voted for Trump and then you remind yourself that Trump won 304 electoral votes to Clinton's 227 and that even in the popular vote Clinton (as best I can determine) led by only 2, 800,000. So almost  63 MILLION of us voted for Trump - NOT because we are "white bigoted nationalists" but because we were sick of the left/socialist/communistic/humanistic pajama boy pacifism ideology that was (and still is) undermining this Country.

After reading statements from liberals like Lilla:  "...: Speaking as an X…This is not an anodyne phrase. It sets up a wall against any questions that come from a non-X perspective. Classroom conversations that once might have begun, I think A, and here is my argument, now take the form, Speaking as an X, I am offended that you claim B. What replaces argument, then, are taboos against unfamiliar ideas and contrary opinions."

and then Powerline's comment: " the left’s near monopolistic control of academic, the media, popular entertainment, and corporate human resources departments."

I have to say its a surreal world we live our daily lives in these days.

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1 hour ago, righteousmomma said:

So almost  63 MILLION of us voted for Trump - NOT because we are "white bigoted nationalists

 

Speak For Yourself. Me and 2,739 did because we are. And when we take over there will be...changes.

 

 

for the record that is sarcasm

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