I’m going to be gone for a couple weeks at the start of June, taking a vacation with my family. On vacations I don’t do work – it’s a deal I have with my wife. But with two kids needing naps in the middle of the afternoon, Jenny and I will have to trade off in terms of who stays in the room with the napping girls while the other one heads down to the pool. When it’s my turn in the room, I plan on taking some books to read – it’s walking a fine line between work and leisure, I know, but I think I can get away with it – especially if Jenny gets more pool time.
Now, the truth is that I have a laundry list of books that people have given me and told me to read, as well as books that I’ve had on my list for a long time. But there’s a new one that I guarantee you is going to move to the top of the list. I’ve spoken about it before, but it’s Jonah Goldberg’s new book on the left’s “Tyranny of Cliches.” I can’t describe how much I appreciate the premise of the book.
Check out this explanation from Goldberg in a recent interview to understand what I mean:
GOLDBERG: Liberals, first and foremost, they lie to themselves. They think they’re not ideological. President Obama loves to say he doesn’t believe in ideology, he only cares about what works, he doesn’t care where the ideas come from. Jonathan Chait, Paul Krugman, a lot of these liberal writers that constantly talk about how liberals only care about what the best policies are, about doing good, and they don’t have an ideological agenda. And so what I argue is that first of all, that’s just nonsense. And the idea of looking back on Obama’s first three and a half years and saying ‘wow, this is a guy who had no ideology, and was just married to the best practices and only cared about what works’ – you know, you sort of, if you believe that, you should probably give up your day job as a taste tester at a lead paint factory.
The entire book is about how the left has manipulated the English language in an attempt to alter reality. That’s one of the common themes of my radio program – that the left hides behind euphemisms and pretends that they are not guilty of the very same offenses they condemn in others.
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And here’s something else I love: Goldberg uses the great political prophet (and nemesis to the left given that virtually everything they do validates his warnings) George Orwell as his inspiration:
GOLDBERG: He [Orwell] talks about how – he doesn’t use the word ‘cliche,’ but it’s what he means, euphemisms and what not, stale language – that these things end up doing your thinking for you. And there are all of these cliched ideas, cliched formulations, that we indoctrinate kids with, that we indoctrinate Americans with through popular culture, through the media, in language and literature, that sort of stack the deck against conservatism, stack the deck in favor of a progressive statist outlook on life, and what I try to go through a bunch of them, and debunk them, and set the record straight.
Check out the entire Goldberg interview, and do yourself a favor, and get the book. I tend to believe that if it weren’t for the tyranny of cliches, there would be a lot fewer liberals in the world. There are sadly a large number of people that are shackled by the deceptions of the left’s terminology manipulation, and who convince themselves that they are liberal because they lack the ability to cut through the rhetorical bull. This book will help with that. Buy it for a liberal, see to it that they read it, and liberate them from the tyranny that rules their minds.